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THE 

WRITINGS AND SPEECHES 



THE RIGHT HONOURABLE 

EDMUND BURKE 



Volume Four 



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Two Hundred and Fifty copies of the Beaconsfield 
Edition of Edmund Burke's Works have^ been 
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The Writings af S leeches of 

EDMUND BURKE 



IN TWELVE VOLUMES 
VOL UME FO UR 



LETIKR /i 'J Ml'MlU.K c/' tb( NA IK >N M \>-' "'I'LV 
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SEP 2 4 1952 



CONTENTS OF VOL. IV. 



Pa*b 
Letteb to a Membee of thb National Abbbmblt, ih 

AsswEB TO 80MB Objections to his Book on Fbbnoh 

AFrAIBS 

Affbai, from the New to the Old Whigs . . . 57 

Lbttbe to a Pbeb of Ibeland on the Penal Laws 
AOAiNST Ibish Catholics 217 

Letter to Sib Hercules Lanobishe, on the Subject 
OF the Roman Catholics of Ireland . • .241 

Hints fob a Mbmobial to be belivbbkd to Monsieur 

MM .... 307 
DBM.M. 

Thoughts on Frbnch Affairs ^^^ 

Heads for Consideration on the Present State of 
Affairs 

Remares on the Pouct of the Allies with resfect 
TO France : with an Affendix *^ 



i 
i. 



B 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



VOLUME FOUR 



The Middle Temple Hall Frontispiece 

From a drawing in tlie British Museum, copied from a pic- 
ture by William Hogarth. 

The Old Parliament House Engraved Title 



Sir Robert Walpole, First Earl of Orford, K.O. . Page 128 

From a picture, painted In 1740, by Jean Baptists Van Loo, 
in the National Portrait Qallery- 

Joseph JekyU, F.R.S., F.S.A 



From a drawing by Oeorge Dance, B.A., in the National Por- 
trait Oallery. 



143 



Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A. 



212 



From a picture painted by hlnueU, in the National Portrait 
Oalleiy. 



J 



h V 



LETTER 



A. MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, 



ANSWER TO SOME OBJECTIONS 10 HIS 
BOOK ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 

1791. 



vol. IV. 



■I 



LETTER. 



SIB,_I had the honor to receive your letter of 
the 17th of November last, in which, with some 
exceptions, you are pleased to consider favorably the 
letter I have written on the affairs of France. I shall 
ever accept any mark of approbation attended with 
instruction with more pleasure than general and un- 
quaUfied praises. The latter can serve only to flatter 
our vanity ; the former, whilst it encourages us to 
proceed, may help to improve us m our progress. 

Some of the errors you point out to me in my 
printed letter are really such. One only I find to 
be material. It is corrected in the edition which I 
take the liberty of sending to you. As to thb oavils 
which may be made on some part of my remarks with 
regard to the gradations in your new Constitution, 
you observe justly that they do not affect the sub- 
stance of my objections. Whether there be a round 
more or less in the ladder of representation by which 
your workmen ascend from their parochial tyranny 
to their federal anarchy, when the whole scale is 
false, appears to me of little or no importance. 

I published my thoughts on that Constitution, that 
my couutryme.\ might be enabled to estimate the wis- 
dom of the plans which were held out to their imita- 
tion. I conceived that the true character of those 
plans would be best collected from the committee ap- 
pointed to prepare them. I thought that the scheme 



r 



4 LEnEB TO ▲ MEMBEB 

of their building would be better comprehended in 
the design of the architects than in the execution of 
the masons. It was not worth my reader's while to 
occupy himself with the alterations by which bungling 
practice corrects absurd theory. Such an investiga- 
tion would be endless : because every day's past expe- 
rience of impracticability has driven, and every day's 
future experience will drive, those men to new de- 
vices as exceptionable as the old, and which are no 
otherwise worthy of observation than as they give a 
daily proof of the delusion of their promises and the 
falsehood of theur professions. Had I followed all 
these changes, my letter would have been only a ga- 
zette of their wanderings, a journal of their march 
from error to error, through a dry, dreary desert, un 
guided by the lights of Heaven, or by the contrivance 
which wisdom has invented to supply their place. 

I am unalterably persuaded that the attempt to 
oppress, degrade, impoverish, confiscate, and extin- 
guish the original gentlemen and landed property of 
a whole nation cannot be justified under any form 
it may assume. I am satisfied beyond a doubt, that 
the project of turning a great empire into a vestry, 
or into a collection of vestries, and of goverr?ag it 
in the spirit of a parochial administration, is fcanse- 
less and absurd, in any mode or with any qualifi- 
cations. I can never be convinced that the scheme 
of placing the highest powers of the state in church- 
wardens and constables and other such officers, guid- 
ed by the prudence of litigious attorneys and Jew 
brokers, and set in action by shameless women of 
the lowest condition, by keepers of hotels, taverns, 
and brothels, by pert apprentices, by clerks, shop- 
boys, hair-dressers, fiddlers, and dancers on the stage, 



: 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 6 

(who, in such a commonwealth as yours, will ii fu- 
ture overbear, as already they have overborne, the 
sober incapacity of dull, uninstructed men, of useful, 
bat laborious occupations,) can never be put into any 
shape that must not be both disgraceful and destruc- 
tive The whole of this project, even if it were what 
it pretends to be, and was not in reality the domm- 
ion, through that disgraceful medium, of half a dozen, 
or perhaps fewer, intriguing politicians, is so mean, 
80 low-minded, so stupid a contrivance, in point of 
wisdom, as well as so perfectly detestable for its 
wickedness, that I must always consider the correc- 
tives which might make it in any degree practicable 
to be so many new objections to it. 

In that wretched state of things, some are afraid 
that the authors of your miseries may be led to pre- 
cipitate their further designs by the hints they may 
receive from the very arguments used to expose the 
absurdity of their system, to mark the incongruity of 
its parts, and its inconsistency with their own prin- 
ciples,— and that your masters may be led to ren- 
der their schemes more consistent by rendering them 
more mischievous. Excuse the liberty which your 
indulgence authorizes me to take, when I observe 
to you that such apprehensions as these would pre- 
vent all exertion of our faculties in this great cause 

of mankind. . .. , . ^ 

A rash recourse to force is not to be justified in a 
state of real weakness. Such attempts bring on dis- 
grace, and in their failure discountenance and dis- 
courage more rational endeavors. But reason is to 
be hazarded, though it may be perverted by craft and 
sophistry ; for reason can suffer no loss nor shame, 
nor can it impede any useful plan of future policy. 



6 



LETTER TO A MEMBEB 



In the unavoidable uncertainty as to the effect, which 
attends on every measure of liuman prudence, noth- 
ing seems a surer antidote to the poison of fraud than 
its detection. It is true, the fraud may be swallowed 
after this discovery, and perhaps even swallowed the 
more greedily for being a detected fraud. Men some- 
times make a point of honor not to be disabused; 
and they had rather fall into an hundred errors than 
confess one. But, after all, when neither our prin- 
ciples nor our dispositions, nor, perhaps, our talents, 
enable us to encounter delusion with delusion, we 
must use our best reason to those that ought to be 
reasonable creatures, and to take Oui- chance for the 
event. We cannot act on these anomalies in the 
minds of men. I do not conceive that the persons 
who have contrived these things can bo m; do much 
the better or the worse for anything which can be 
said to them. They are reason-proof. Hero and there, 
some men, who were at first carried away by wild, 
good intentions, may be led, when their first fervors 
are abated, to join in a sober survey of the schemes 
into which they had been deluded. To those only 
(and I am sorry to say they are not likely to make a 
large descMption) we apply with any hope. I may 
speak it upon an assurance almost approaching to 
absolute knowledge, that nothing has been done that 
has not been contrived from the beginning, even be- 
fore the States had assembled. Nulla nova mihi res 
inopinave surgit. They are the same men and the 
same designs that they were from the first, though 
varied in their appearance. It was the very same an- 
imal that at first crawled about in the shape of a 
caterpillar that you now see rise into the air and ex- 
pand his wings iu the sun. 



or THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. • 

Proceeding, therefore, as we are obliged to proceed, 
—that is, upon an hypothesis that we address rational 
men, — can false political principles be more effectu- 
ally exposed than by demonstrating that they load to 
consequences directly inconsistent with and subver- 
sive of the arrangements grounded upon them? If 
this kind of demonstration is not permitted, the pro- 
cess of reasoning called deductto ad absurdum, which 
even the severity of geometry does not reject, could 
not be employed at all in legislative discussions. 
One of our strongest weapons against folly acting 
with authority would be lost. 

You know. Sir, that even the virtuous efforts of 
your patriots to prevent the ruin of your country 
hav3 had this very turn given to them. It has been 
said here, and in .."^ance too, that the reigning usurp- 
ers would not have carried their tyranny to such de- 
structive lengths, if they had not been stimulated 
and provoked to it by the acrimony of your opposi- 
tion. There is a dilemma to which every opposition 
to successful iniquity must, in the nature of things, 
be liable. If you lie still, you are considered as au 
accomplice in the measures in which you silently ac- 
quiesce. If you resist, you are accused of provoking 
irritable power to new excesses. The conduct of a 
losing party never appears right : at least; it^ nevpr 
can possess the only infallible criterion of wisrV 
vulgar judgments, — success. 

The indulgence of a sort of undefined hope, an ob- 
scure confidence, that some lurking remains of vir- 
tue, some degree of shame, might exist in the breasts 
of the oppressors of France, has been among the 
causes which have helped to bring on the common 
ruin of king and people. There is no safety for Von- 



LKTTEB TO A HXMBER 



.1 , I 



est men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, 
and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadi- 
ness on that belief. I well remember, at every epo- 
cha of this wondcrftil history, in every scene of tins 
tragic business, that, when your sophistic usurpers 
were laying down mischievous principles, and even 
applying them in direct resolutions, it was the fash- 
ion to say that they never intended to execute those 
declarations in theii rigor. This made men careless 
in their opposition, and remiss in early precaution. 
By holding out this fallacious hope, the impostors de- 
luded sometimes one description of men, and some- 
times another, so that no means of resistance were 
provided against them, when they came to execute in 
cruelty what they had planned in fraud. 

There are cases in which a man would be ashamed 
not to have been imposed on. There is a confidence 
necessary to human intercourse, and without which 
men are often more injured by their own suspicions 
than they would be by the perfidy of others. But 
when men whom we hum to be wicked impose upon 
us, we are something worse than dupes. When we 
know them, their fair pretences become new motives 
for distrust. There is one case, indeed, in which it 
would be madness not to give the fullest credit to the 
most deceitful of men, — that is, when they make 
declaratio'^o of hostility against us. 

I find that some persons entertain other hopes, 
which I confess appear more specious than those by 
which at first so many were deluded and disarmed. 
They flatter themselves that the extreme misery 
brought upon the people by their folly will at last 
open the eyes of the multitude, if not of their leaders. 
Much the contrary, I fear. As to the leaders in this 



Of THE KATIONAL AB8EJIBLT. V 

BTBtem of imposture,— you know that cheats and de- 
ceirers never can repent. The fraudulent have no 
resource but in fraud. They have no other goods m 
their mrgaane. They have no virtue or wisdom in 
*,heir minds, to which, in a disappointment concern- 
ing the profitable effects of fraud and cunning, they 
can retreat. The wearing out of an old serves only 
to put them upon the invention of a new delusion. 
Unluckily, too, the credulity of dupes is as ineshaustr 
ible as the invention of knaves. They never give 
people possession; but they always keep them in 
hope. Your state doctors do not so much as pretend 
that any good whatsoever has hitherto been derived 
from their operations, or that the public has pros- 
pered in any one instance under their management. 
Tlie nation is sick, very sick, by their medicines. 
But the charlatan tells them that what i- past can- 
not be helped;— they have taken the draught, and 
they must wait its operation with patience;— that 
the first effects, indeed, are unpleasant, but that the 
very sickness is a proof that the dose is of no slug- 
gish operation;— that sickness is inevitable in all 
constitutional revolutions ;— that the body mutt pass 
through pain to ease ;— that the prescriber is not an 
empiric who proceeds by vulgar experience, but one 
who grounds his practice • on the sure rules of art, 
which cannot possibly fail. You have read. Sir, the 
last manifesto, or mountebank's bill, of the National 
Assembly. You see their presumption in their prom- 
ises is not lessened by all their failures m the per- 

• It i« iaid in the Iwt qtwckish address of the National Assembly 
to the people of France, that they have not formed their arrangements 
upon vulgar pracUce, bat on • theory which nannot faU, — or some- 
thing to that efieet. 



10 



LETTEB TO A MEMBER 



I f.' 



■iV 



formance. Compare this last address of the Assembly 
and the present state of your affairs with the early 
engagements of tliat body, engagements which, not 
content with declaring, they solemnly deposed upon 
oath, — swearing lustily, that, if they were supported, 
they would make their country glorious and happy ; 
and then judge whether those wlio can write such 
things, or those who can beai to read them, are of 
themselves to be brought to any reasonable course of 
thought or action. 

As to the people at large, when once these misera- 
ble sheep have broken the fold, and have got them- 
selves loose, not from the restraint, but from the 
protection, of all the principles of natural authority 
and legitimate subordination, they become the natu- 
ral p.ey of impostors. When they have once tasted 
of the flattery of knaves, they can no longer endure 
reason, wliich appears to them only in the form of 
censure and reproach. Great distress has never hith- 
erto taught, and whilst the world lasts it never will 
teach, wise lessons to any part of mankind. Men are 
as much blinded by the extremes of misery as by the 
extremes of prosperity. Desperate situations produce 
desperate councils and desperate measures. The peo- 
ple of France, almost generally, have been tauglit to 
look for other resources than those which can be de- 
rived from order, frugality, and industry. They are 
generally armed ; and they are made to expect much 
om the use of arms. Nihil non arrogant armis. 
Resides this, the retrograde order of society has some- 
thing flattcnng to the dispositions of mankind The 
life of adventurers, gamesters, gypsies, beggars, and 
robbers is not unpleasant. It requires restraint to 
keep men from falling into that habit. The shifting 



r, 



l^^^^tt^l^^lr^ r£*«Sl'"' 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



11 



tides of fear and hope, the flight and pursuit, the 
peril and escape, the alternate famine and feast of the 
savage and the thief, after a time, render all course 
of slow, steady, progressive, unvaried occupation, and 
the prospect only of a limited mediocrity at the end 
of long labor, to the last degree tame, languid, and 
insipid. Those who have been once intoxicated wiih 
power, and have derived any kind of emolument from 
it, even though but for one year, never can willingly 
abandon it. They may be distressed in the midst of 
all their power ; but they will never look to anything 
but power for their relief. Wlien did distress ever 
oblige a prince to abdicate his authority ? And what 
effect will it have upon those who are made to believe 
themselves a people of princes ? 

The more active and stirring part of the lower or- 
ders having got government and the distribution of 
plunder into their hands, they will use its resources 
in each municipality to form a body of adherents. 
These rulers and their adherents will be strong enough 
to overpower the discontents of those who have not 
been able to assert their share of the spoil. The un- 
fortunate adventurers in the cheating lottery of plun- 
der will probably be the least sagacious or the most 
inactive and irresolute of the gang. If, on disappoint- 
ment, they should dare to stir, they will soon be sup- 
pressed as rebels and mutineers by their brother rcl> 
els. Scantily fed for a while with the offal of plunder, 
they will drop off by degrees ; they will be driven out 
of sight and out of thought ; and they will be loft to 
perish obscurely, like rats, in holes and corners. 

From the forced repentance of invalid mutineers 
and disbanded thieves you can hope for no resource. 
Government itself, which ought to constrain the more 



12 



LETIER TO A MEMBEB 



i°l'e., 



bold and dexterous of these robbers, is their accom- 
plice. Its arms, its treasures, its all are in their 
hands. Judicature, wliich above all things should 
awe them, is their creature and their instrument. 
Nothing seems to me to render your internal situa- 
tion more desperate than this one circumstance of the 
state of your judicature. Many days are not passed 
since we have seen a set of men brought forth by 
your rulers for a most critical function. Your rulers 
brought forth a set of men, steaming from the sweat 
and drudgery, and all black with the smoke and soot, 
of the forge of confiscation and robbery, — ardentia 
massce fuligine lippos, — a set of men brought forth 
from the trade of hammering arms of proof, offensive 
and defensive, in aid of the enterprises, and for the 
subsequent protection, of housebreakers, murderers, 
traitors, and malefactors, — men, who had their minds 
seasoned with theories perfectly conformable to their 
practice, and who had always laughed at possession 
and prescription, and defied all the fundamental max- 
ims of jurisprudence. To the horror and stupefaction 
of all the honest part of this nation, and indeed of all 
nations who are spectators, we have seen, on the cred- 
it of those very practices and principles, and to carry 
them further into effect, these very men placed on the 
sacred seat of justice in the capital city of your late 
kingdom. We see that in future you are to be de- 
stroyed with more form and regularity. This is not 
peace : it is only the introduction of a sort of disci- 
pline in their hostility. Their tyranny is complete in 
their justice ; and their lanteme is not half so dread- 
ful as their court. 

One would think, that, out of common decency, they 
would have given you men who had not been in the 



OP THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



13 



habit of trampling upon law and justice in the As- 
sembly, neutral men, or men apparently neutral, for 
judges, who are to dispose of your lives and fortunes. 
Cromwell, when he attempted to legalize his pow- 
er, and to settle his conquered country in a state of 
order, did not look for dispensers of justice in the 
instruments of his usurpation. Quite the contrary. 
He sought out, with great solicitude and selection, 
and even from the party most opposite to his designs, 
men of weight and decorum of character, — men un- 
stained with the violence of the times, and with hands 
not fouled with confiscation and sacrilege: for he 
chose an Hale for his chief justice, though he abso- 
lutely refused to take his civic oaths, or to make any 
acknowledgment whatsoever of the legality of his 
government. Cromwell told this great lawyer, that, 
since he did not approve his title, all he required of 
him was to administer, in a manner agreeable to his 
pure sentiments and unspotted character, that justice 
without which human society cannot subsist, — that 
it was not his particular government, but civil order 
itself, which, as a judge, he wished liim to support. 
Cromwell knew how to separate the institutions ex- 
pedient to his usurpation from the administration of 
the public justice of his country. For Cromwell was 
a man in whom ambition had not wholly suppressed, 
but only suspended, the sentiments of religion, and 
the love (as far as it could consist with his designs) 
of fair ai " honorable reputation. Accordingly, we are 
indebted to ^his act of his for the preservation of our 
laws, which some senseless assertors of tlie rights of 
men were then on the point of entirely erasing, as 
relics of feudality and barbarism. Besides, he gave, 
in the appointment of that man, to that age, and to 






14 



LETTEB "^0 A MEMBEB 



M" I 



I 



all posterity, the most brilliant example of sincere and 
fervent piety, exact justice, and profound jurispru- 
dence.* But these are not the things in which your 
philosophic usurpers choose to follow Cromwell. 

One would think, that, after an honest and necessary 
revolution, (if they had a mind that theirs should pass 
for such,) your masters would have imitated the vir- 
tuous policy of those who have been at the head of 
revolutions of that glorious character. Burnet tolls 
us, that nothing tended to reconcile the English 
nation to the government of King William so much 
as the care he took to fill the vacant bishoprics with 
men who had attracted the public esteem by their 
learning, el'^quence, and piety, and above all, by 
their known moderation in the state. With you, in 
your purifying revolution, whom have you chosen to 
regulate the Church ? M. Mirabeau is a fine speak- 
er, and a fine writer, and a fine — a very fine man ; 
but, really, nothing gave more surprise to every- 
body here than to find him the supreme head of 
your ecclesiastical affairs. The rest is of course. 
Your AssemV)ly addresses a manifesto to France, in 
which they tell the people, with an insulting irony, 
that they have brought the Church to its primitive 
condition. In one respect tneir declaration is un- 
doubtedly true : for they have brought it to a state 
of poverty and persecution. What can be hoped for 
after this? Have not men, (if they deserve the 
name,) under this new hope and head of the Church, 
been made bishops for no other merit than having 
acted as instruments of atheists ? for no other merit 
than having thrcwn the children's bread to dogs? 
and, in order to gorge the whole gang of usurers, 

• See Burnet's Life of Hale. 



I 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



15 



t 

.>'e 
We 



peddlors, and itinerant Jew discounters at the corners 
of streets, starved the poor of their Christian flocks, 
and their own brother pastors ? Have not such men 
been made bishops to administer in temples in which 
(if the patriotic donations have not already stripped 
them of their vessels) the church-wardens ought to 
take security for the altar plate, and not so much as 
to trust the chalice in their sacrilegious hands, so 
long as Jews have assignats on ecclesiastic plunder, 
to ^change for the silver stolen from churches ? 

I am told that the very sons of such Jew jobbers 
have been made bishops: persons not to be sus- 
pected of any sort of Christian superstition, fit il- 
leagues to the holy prelate of Autun, and b t 
the feet of that Gamaliel. We know .dio it wa 
drove the money-changers out of the temple, 
see, too, who it is that brings them in a^ain. 
have hi London very respectable persons of the Jew- 
ish nation, whom we will keep ; but we have of the 
same tribe others of a very different description, — 
housebreakers, and receivers of stolen goods, and 
forgers of paper currency, more than we can conven- 
iently hang. These we can spare to France, to fill 
the new episcopal thrones : men well versed in shear- 
ing ; and who sruple no oath which th" fertile 
genius of any uv reformer^ lau devise. 

In matters si nJiculous it is aard to be grave. 
On a view of their couoequences, it is almost inhu- 
man to treat them lightly. To what a state of sav- 
age, stupid, servile insensibility must your people be 
reduced, who can endure such proceedings in their 
Church, their state, and their judicature, even for a 
moment ! But the deluded people of France are like 
other madmen, who, to a miracle, bear hunger, and 



16 



LETTEB TO A MEHBEB 



thirst, and cold, and confinement, and the chains and 
lash of their keeper, whilst all the while they support 
themselves by the unagination that they are generals 
of armies, prophets, kings, and emperors. As to a 
change of mind in these men, who consider infamy 
as honor, degradation as preferment, bondage to low 
tyrants as liberty, and the practical scorn and con- 
tumely of their upstart masters as marks of respect 
and homage, I look upon it as absolutely impracti- 
cable. These madmen, to be cured, must first, like 
other madmen, be subdued. The sound part of the 
community, which I believe to be large, but by no 
means the largest part, has been taken by surprise, 
and is disjointed, terrified, and disarmed. That sound 
part of the community must first be put into a better 
condition, before it can do anything in the way of 
deliberation or persuasion. This must be an act of 
power, as well as of wisdom : of power in the hands 
of firm, determined patriots, who can distinguish the 
misled fi-om traitors, who will regulate the state (if 
such should be their fortune) with a discriminating, 
manly, and provident mercy ; men who are purged 
of the surfeit and indigestion of systems, if ever they 
have been admitted into the habit of their minds ; 
men who will lay the foundation of a real reform in 
effacing every vestige of that philosophy which pre- 
tends to have made discoveries in the Terra Australia 
of morality ; men who will fix the state upon these 
bases of morals and politics, which are our old and 
immemorial, and, I hope, will be our eternal posses- 
sion. 

This power, to such men, must come from with- 
ovt. It may be given to you in pity : for surely no 
nation ever called so pathetically on the compassion 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



17 



of all its neighbors. It may be given by those neigh- 
bors on motives of safety to themselves. Never shall 
I think any country in Europe to be secure, whilst 
there is establislied in the very centre of it a state 
(if so it may be called) founded on principles of an- 
archy, and which is in reality a college of armed 
fanatics, for the propagation of the principles of assas- 
sination, robbery, rebellion, fraud, faction, oppression, 
and impiety. Mahomet, hid, as for a time he was, in 
the bottom of the sands of Arabia, had his spirit and 
character been discovered, would have been an object 
of precaution to provident minds. What if he had 
erected his fhnatic standard for the destruction of 
the Christian religion in luce Asice, in the midst 
of the then noonday splendor of the then civilized 
world ? The princes of Europe, in the beginning of 
this century, did well not to suffer the monarchy of 
Prance to swallow up the others. They ought not 
now, in my opinion, to suffer all the monarchies and 
commonwealths to be swallowed up in the gulf of this 
polluted anarchy. They may be tolerably safe at pres- 
ent, because the comparative power of France for the 
present is little. But times and occasions make dan- 
gers. Intestine troubles may arise in other countries. 
There is a power always on the watch, qualified and 
disposed to profit of every conjuncture, to establish 
its own principles and modes of mischief, wherever 
it can hope for success. What mercy would these 
usurpers have on other sovereigns, and on other na- 
tions, when they treat their own king with such un- 
paralleled indignities, and so cruelly oppress their 
own countrymen ? 

The king of Prussia, in concurrence with us, no- 
bly interfered to save Holland from confusion. The 



VOL. IV. 



18 



LETTER TO A MEMBER 



same power, joined with the rescued Holland and 
with Great Britain, has put the Emperor in the pos- 
session of the Netherlands, and secured, under that 
prince, from all arbitrary innovation, the ancient, he- 
reditary Constitution of those provinces. The cham- 
ber of Wetzlar has restored the Bishop of Liege, unjust- 
ly dispossessed by the rebellion of his subjects. The 
king of Prussia was bound by no treaty nor alliance 
of blood, nor had any particular reasons for thinking 
the Emperor's government would be more mischiev- 
ous or more oppressive to human nature than that of 
the Turk ; yet, on mere motives of policy, that prince 
has interposed, with the threat of all his force, to 
snatch even the Turk from the pounces of the Impe- 
rial eagle. If this is done in favor of a barbarous 
nation, with a barbarous neglect of police, fatal to the 
human race, — in favor of a nation by principle in 
eternal enmity with the Christian name, a nation 
which will not so much as give the sahitation of 
peace (Salam') to any of us, nor make any pact with 
any Christian nation beyond a truce, — if this be done 
in favor of the Turk, shall it be thought either impol- 
itic or unjust or uncharitable to employ the same pow- 
er to rescue from captivity a virtuous monarch, (by 
the courtesy of Europe considered as Most Christian,) 
who, after an intermission of one hundred and sev- 
enty-five years, had called together the States of his 
kingdom to refor' i abuses, to establish a free govern- 
ment, and to strengthen his throne, — a monarch 
who, at the very outset, without force, even without 
solicitation, had given to his people such a Magna 
Charta of privileges as never was given by any king 
to any subjects ? Is it to be tamely borne by kings 
who love their subjects, or by subjects who love their 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



19 



kings, that this monarch, in the midst of these gra- 
cious acts, was insolently and cruelly torn from his 
palace by a gang of traitors and assassins, and kept 
in close prison to this very hour, whilst his royal 
name and sacred ^>haracter wore used for the total 
ruin of those whom the laws had appointed him to 
protect ? 

The only offence of this, unhappy monarch towards 
his people was his attempt, under a monarchy, to 
give them a free Constitution. For this, by an ex- 
ample hitherto unh^^ard of in the world, he has been 
deposed. It might well disgrace sovereigns to take 
part with a deposed tyrant. It would suppose in 
them a vicious sympathy. But not to make a com- 
mon cause with a just prince, dethroned by traitors 
and rebels, who proscribe, plunder, confiscate, and in 
every way cruelly oppress their fellow-citizens, in my 
opinion is to forget what is due to the honor and to 
the rights of all virtuous and legal government. 

I think the king of France to be as much an object 
both of policy and compassion as the Grand Seignior 
or his states. I do not conceive that tlio total anni- 
hilation of France (if that could be effected) is a 
desirable thing to Europe, or even to tliis its rival 
nation. Provident patriots did not think it good for 
Rome that even Carthage should be quite destroyed ; 
and he was a wise Greek, wise for the general Gre- 
cian interests, as well as a brave Lacedaemonian ene- 
my and generous conqueror, who did not wish, by 
the destruction of Athens, to pluck out the other 
eye of Greece. 

However, Sir, what I have here said of the inter- 
ference of foreign princes is only the opinion of a pri- 
vate individual, who is neither the representative of 



so 



LETTEB TO A MEMBER 



auy state nor tlio organ of any party, but who thinks 
himself bound to express his own sentiments with 
freedom and energy in a crisis of such importance to 
the whole human race. 

I am not apprehensive, that, in speaking freely on 
the subject of the king and queen of France, I shall 
accelerate (as you fear) the execution of traitorous 
designs against them. You are of opinion. Sir, that 
the usurpers may, and that they will, gladly lay hold 
of any pretext to throw off the very name of a king : 
assuredly, I do not wish ill to your king ; but better 
for him not to live ( he does not reign) than to live 
the passive instrument of tyranny and usurpation. 

I certainly meant to show, to the best of my power, 
that the existence of such an executive officer in 
such a system of republic as theirs is absurd in the 
highest degree. But in demonstrating this, to them, 
at least, I can have made no discovery. They only 
held out the royal name to catch those frenchmen to 
whom the name of king is still venerable. Tliey cal- 
culate the duration of that sentiment; and when 
they find it nearly expiring, they will not trouble 
themselves with excuses for extinguishing the name, 
as they have the thing. They used it as a sort of 
navel-string to nourish their unnatural offspring from 
the bowels of royalty itself. Now that the monster 
i;an purvey for '*•; own subsistence, it will only carry 
the mark about it, as a token of its having torn the 
womb it came from. Tyrants seldom want pretexts. 
Fraud is the ready minister of injustice ; and whilst 
the currency of false pretence and sophistic reasoning 
was expedient to their designs, they were under no 
necessity of drawing upon me to furnish thorn with 
that coin. But pretexts and sophisms have had their 



<? I, 



OF THE NATIONAL ABSEMBuT. 



21 



day, and have done their work. The usurpation no 
longer seeks plausibility : it trusts to power. 

Nothing that I can say, or that you can say, will 
hasten them, by a single hour, in the execution of a 
design which they have long since entertained. In 
spite of their solemn declarations, their soothing 
addresses, and the multiplied oaths which they have 
taken and forced others to take, they will assassinate 
the king when his name will no longer be necessary 
to their designs, — but not a moment sooner. They 
will probably first assassinate the queen, whenever 
the renewed menace of such an assassination loses its 
eflfect upon the anxious m'ud of an affectionate hus- 
band. At present, the advantage which they derive 
from the daily threats against her life is her only se- 
curity for preserving it. They keep their sovereign 
alive for the purpose of exhibiting him, like some 
wild beast a^ a fair, — as if they had a Bajazet in a 
cage. They choose to make monarchy contemptible 
by exposing it to derision in the person of the most 
benevolent of their kings. 

In my opinion their insolence appears more odious 
even than their crimes. The horrors of the fifth and 
sixth of October were less detestable than the festival 
of the fourteenth of July. There are situations (God 
forbid I should think that of the 5th and 6th of Octo- 
ber one ot them ! .a which the best men may be con- 
founded with the worst, and in the darkness and con- 
fusion, in the press and medley of such extremities, 
it may not be so easy to discriminate the one from 
the other. The necessities created even by ill de- 
signs have their excuse. They may be forgotten by 
others, when the guilty themselves do not choose to 
cherish their recoUection, and, by ruminating their 



22 



LETTER TO A MEMBEB 



offences, nourish themselves, through the example of 
their past, to the perpetration of future crimes. It is 
in the relaxation of security, it is in the expansion of 
prosperity, it is in the hour of dilatation of the heart, 
and of its softening into festivity and pleasure, that 
the real character of men is discerned. If there i 
any good in them, it appears then or never. Even 
wolves and tigers, when gorged with their prey, are 
safe and gentle. It is at such times that noble minds 
give all the reins to their good nature. They indulge 
their genius even to intemperance, in kindness to the 
affile' -enerosity to the conquered, — forbearing 

lus^ ^ iujuries, overpaying benefits. Full 

of digi, Ves, they respect dignity in all, but 

they fee u . in the unhappy. But it is then, 

and basking m the sunshine of unmerited fortune, 
that low, sordid, ungenerous, and reptile souls swell 
with their hoarded poisons ; it is then that they dis- 
play their odious splendor, and shine out in the full 
ustre of tlieir native viUany and baseness. It is in 
tha season that no man of sense or honor can be 
mistaken for one of them. It was in such a season, 
for them of political ease and security, though their 
people were but just emerged from actual famine, and 
were ready to be plunged into a gulf of penury and 
beggary, that your pliilosophic lords chose, with an 
ostentatious pomp and luxury, to feast an incredible 
mimber of Idle and thoughtless people, collected 
with art and pams from all quarters of the worid. 
They constructed a vast amphitheatre in which they 
raised a species of pillory.* On this pillory they set 
their lawful king and queen, with an insulthig figi^e 

Jir^ ^^^71 '™'''"'' '" ^"^''^'^ " eenerany made very hiirh 
like that raised for exposing the king of France « 7 mgn, 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



over their heads. There they exjwsed these objects 
of pity and respect to all good minds to the derision 
of an unthinking and unprincipled multitude, de- 
generated even from the versatile tenderness which 
marks the irregular and capricious feelings of the 
j.dpulaco. That tlicir cruel insult might have noth- 
ing wanting to complete u, ihey choso the anmver- 
sary of that day in which they exposed the life of 
theii prince to the most imminent dangers and the 
vilest indignities, just following the instant when the 
assassins, whom they had hired without owning, first 
openly took up arms against their king, corrupted his 
guards, surprised his castle, butchered some of the 
poor invalids of his garrison, murdered his governor, 
and, like wild beasts, tore : pieces the chief magis- 
trate of his capital city, on account of his fidelity to 
his service. 

Till the justice of the world is awakened, such as 
these will go on, without admonition, and without 
provocation, to every extremity. Those who have 
made the exhibition of the fourteenth of July are ca- 
pable of every evil. They do not commit crimes for 
their designs; but they form designs that they may 
commit crimes. It is not their necessity, but their 
nature, that impels them. They are modern philos- 
ophers, which when you say of them, you express 
everything that is ignoble, savage, and hard-hearted. 

Besides the sure tokens which are given by the spir- 
it of their particular arrangement , there are some 
characteristic lineaments in the general policy of 
your tumultuous despotism, which, in my opinion, 
indicate, beyond a doubt, that no revolution whatso- 
ever in their disposition is to be expected: I mean 
their scheme of educating the rising generation, the 



I? L 



24 



LETTEE TO A MEMBER 



principles which thoy intend to instil and the sympa- 
thies wliich tliey wish to form in the mind at the 
season m which it is the most susceptible. Instead 
of forming their young minds to that docility, to that 
modesty, which are tlie grace and charm of youth, to 
an admiration of famous examples, and to an averse 
ness to anything whicli approaches to pride, petulance, 
and self-conceit, (distempers to which that time of 
life IS of itself sufficiently liable,) they artificially fo- 
ment these evil dispositions, and even form them into 
springs of action. Notliing ought to be more weighed 
than tlie nature of books recommended by public au- 
thority So recommended, they soon form the char- 
acter of the age. Uncertain indeed is the efficacy 
limited indeed is the extent, of a virtuous institution.' 
But If education takes in vice as any part of its sys- 
tem, there is no doubt but that it will operate with 
abundant energy, and to an extent indefinite. The 
magistrate, who in favor of freedom thinks himself 
obliged to suffer all sorts of publications, is under a 
stricter duty than any other well to consider what 
sort of writers ho shall authorize, and shall recom- 
mend by the strongest of all sanctions, that is, by pub- 
lic honors and rewards. He ouglit to be captious 
how he recommends authors of mixed or ambiguous 
morality He ought to be fearful of putting into the 
hands of youth writers indulgent to the peculiarities 
of their own complexion, lest they should teach the 
humors of tlie professor, rather than the principles of 
the science. He ougiit, above all, to be cautious in 
recommending any writer who has carried marks of a 
deranged understanding: for where there is no sound 
reason there can be no real virtue; and madness is 
ever vicious and malignant. 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



25 



The Assembly proceeds on maxims the very reverse 
of these. The Assembly recommends to its youth a 
study of the bold experimenters m morality. Every- 
body knows that there is a great dispute amongst 
their leaders, which of them is the best resemblance 
of Rousseau. In truth, they all resemble him. His 
blood they transfuse into their minds and into their 
manners. Him they study ; him they meditate ; him 
they turn over in all the time they can spare from the 
laborious mischief of the day or the debauches of the 
night. Rousseau is their canon of holy writ ; in his 
life he is their canon of Polycletus ; he is their standard 
figure of perfection. To this man and this writer, as 
a pattern to authors and to Frenchmen, the foundries 
of Paris are now running for statues, with the kettles 
of their poor and the bells of their churches. If an 
author had written like a great genius on geometry, 
though his practical and speculative morals were vi- 
cious in the extreme, it might appear that in voting 
the statue they honored only the geometrician. But 
Rousseau is a moralist or he is nothing. It is impos- 
sible, therefore, putting the circumstances together, 
to mistake their design in choosing the author with 
whom they have begun to recommend a course of 
studies. 

Their great problem is, to find a substitute for all 
the principles which hitherto have been employed 
to regulate the human will and action. They find 
dispositions in the mind of such force and quality 
as may fit men, far better than the old morality, for 
the purposes of such a state as theirs, and may go 
much further in supporting their power and destroy- 
ing their enemies. They have therefore chosen a 
selfish, flattering, seductive, ostentatious vice, in the 



'^2 



26 



LETTBIB TO A MEMBEB 



i|i 



place of plain duty. True humility, the basis of 
the Christian system, is the low, but deep and firm 
foundation of all real virtue. But this, as very pain- 
ful in the practice, and little imposing in the appear- 
ance, they have totally discarded. Their object is to 
merge all natural n id all social sentiment in inordi- 
nate vanity. In > s aall degi -e, and conversant in 
little things, vanity is of little moment. When full- 
grown, it is the worst of vices, and the occasional 
mimic of them all. It makes the whole man false. 
It leaves nothing sincere or trustworthy about him. 
His best qualities are poisoned and perverted by it, 
and operate exactly as the worst. When your lords 
had many writers as immoral as the object of their 
statue (such as Voltaire and others) they chose 
Rousseau, because in him that peculiar vice which 
they wished to erect into ruling virtue was by far 
the most conspicuous. 

We have had the great professor and founder of 
the pJdlosophy of vanity in England. As I had good 
opportunities of knowing his proceedings almost from 
day to day, he left no doubt on my mind that he en- 
tertained no principle, either to influence his heart 
or to guide his understanding, but vanity. With this 
vice he was possessed to a degree little sliort of mad- 
ness. It is from the same deranged, eccentric vanity, 
that this, the insane Socrates of the National Assem- 
bly, was impelled to publish a mad confession of his 
mad faults, and to attempt a new sort of glory from 
bringing hardily to liglit the obscure and vulgar vices 
which we know may sometimes bo blended with emi- 
nent talents. He has not observed on the nature of 
vanity who does not know that it is omnivorous,— 
that it has no choice in its food,— that it is fond to 



1 '.'. 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



27 



talk even of its own faults and vices, as what will ex- 
cite surprise and draw attention, and what will pass 
at worst for openness and candor. 

It was this abuse and perversion, which vanity 
makes even of hypocrisy, wliich has driven Rousseau 
to record a life not so much as checkered or spotted 
here and there with virtues, o- r^en distinguished by 
a single good action It is life he chooses to 

offer to the attention of ma. It is sucli a life 

that, with a wild defiance, he amgs in the face of his 
Creator, whom he acknowledges only to brave. Your 
Assembly, knowing how much more powerful exam- 
ple is found than precept, has chosen this man (by 
his own account without a single virtue) for a model. 
To him they erect their first statue. From him they 
commence their series of honors and distinctions. 

It is that new-invented virtue which your masters 
canonize that led their moral hero constantly to 
exhaust the stores of his powerful rhetoric in the 
expression of universal benevolence, whilst his heart 
was incapable of harboring one spark of common pa- 
rental affection. Benevolence to the whole species, 
and want of feeling for every individual with whom 
the professors come in contact, form the character of 
the now philosophy. Sotting up for an unsocial in- 
dependence, this their liero of vanity refuses the just 
price of common labor, as well as 'e tribute which 
opulence owes to genius, and which, wlien paid, hon- 
ors the giver and the receiver; and tlien ho pleads 
his beggary as an excuse for his crimes. He melts 
with tenderness for those only who touch him by the 
remotest relation, and then, vithout one natural pang, 
casts away, as a sort of offal and excrement, the 
spawn of his disgustful amours, and sends liis chil- 



28 



LETTER TO A MEUBEB 




dren to the liospital of foundlings. The bear loves, 
I'cks, and forms her young : but bears are uot philoso 
ijhers. Vanity, however, finds its account in revers- 
ing the train of our natural feelings. Thousands ad- 
jiire the sentimental writer; the affectionate father 
is hardly known in his parish. 

Under this philosophic instructor in the ethics of 
vanity, they have attempted in France a regeneration 
of the moral constitution of man. Statesmen like 
your present rulers e\ist by everything which is spu- 
rious, fictitious, and false, — by everything which takes 
the man from his house, and sets him on a stage, — 
which makes him up an artificial creature, with 
pamted, theatric sentiments, fit to be seen by the 
glare of candle-light, and formed to be contemplated 
at a due distance. Vanity is too apt to prevail in all 
of us, and in all coimtries. To the improvement of 
Frenchmen, it seems not absolutely necessary that it 
should be taught upon system. But it is plain that 
the present rebellion was its legitimate offspring, and 
it is piously fed by that rebellion with a daily dole. 

If the system of institution recommended by the 
Assembly is false and theatric, it is because their 
system of government is of the same character. To 
that, and to that alone, it is strictly conformable. To 
understand either, we must connect the morals with 
the politics of the legislators. Your practical philos- 
ophers, systematic in everything, have wisely began 
at the source. As the relation between parents and 
children is the first among the elements of vul- 
gar, natural morality,* they erect statues to a wild, 

• " Filiola tua te dclectari Isetor, et probari tibi <ftv<TiKr,v esse tiJk 
npoi Ta TtKva : etcnim, si h»c non est, nulla potest homini esse a4 
hominem naturx adjunctio : qoa suWata, vitre societas tollitur. Va- 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



29 



ferocious, low-minded, hard-hearted fath 3r, of fine gen^ 
eral feci n<rs,-a lover of his kind, but a hater of 
hs M ed.' Your masters reject the duties of tins 
V I'a relation, as contrary to liberty, as not founded 
U the social compact, and not binding accordn g to 
the rights of men; because the relation is not, of 
course' the result of free election, -never so on he 
side of the children, not always on the part of the 

^'mnext relation which they regenerate by their 
statues to Rousseau is that which is next ai sancti y 
t^ that of a father. They differ from those old-fash- 
Lcd thinkers who considered pedagogues as sober 
and venerable characters, and allied to the parental 
The moralists of the dark times pr<.ceptorem sanciz 
voluere parentis esse loco. In this age of b^^t W 
teach the people that preceptors ought to be m the 
place of gallants. They systematically corrupt a very 
Lruptible race, (for some time a growmg nuisance 
amongst you,) - a set of pert, petulant hterators, to 
whom, instead of their proper, but severe, unostenta- 
tious duties, they assign the brilliant part of men of 
wit and pleasure, of gay, young, military sparks, and 
I^,glers at toilets. They call on the rising genera- 
tion in France to take a sympathy in the adventure 
and fortunes, and they endeavor to engage their 
sensibility on the side, of pedagogues who betray the 
r^ost awful family trusts .u.d vitiate their femak 
mipils. They teach the people that the debauchers 
of virgins, almost in the arms of their parents, may 
be safe inmates in their house, and even fit guar- 
dians of the honor of those husbands who succeed 

lew. Patron [Ronsseau] et tui condiscipnli [L'AssembWe Natio- 
nale] ! " — Cif- ^V- ad Atticum. 



80 



LETTEB TO A MEMBER 




m: 



legally to the office which the young literators had 
preoccupied witliout asking leave of law or con- 
science. 

Tims they dispose of all the family relations of par- 
ents and children, husbands and wives. Through 
this same instructor, by whom they corrupt the mor- 
als, they corrupt the taste. Taste and elegance, 
though they are reckoned only among the smaller 
and secondary morals, yet are of no mean importance 
in the regulation of life. A moral taste is not of 
force to turn vice into virtue ; but it recommends 
virtue with something like the blandishments of 
pleasure, and it infinitely abates the evils of vice. 
Rousseau, a writer of great force and vivacity, ii 
totally destitute of taste in any sense of the word. 
Your masters, who are his scholars, conceive that all 
refinement has an aristocratic character. The last 
age had exhausted all its powers in giving a grace 
and nobleness to our natural appetites, and in rais- 
ing them into a higher class and order than seemed 
justly to belong to them. Tlirough Rousseau, your 
masters are resolved to destroy these aristocratic 
prejudices. The passion called love has so general 
and powerful an influence, it makes so much of the 
entertainment, and indeed so much the occupation, of 
that part of life which decides the character forever, 
that the mode and the principles on which it engages 
the sympathy and strikes the imagination become of 
the utmost importance to the morals and manners 
of every society. Your rulers were well aware of 
this; and in their system of changing your manners 
to accommodate them to their politics, they found 
nothing so convenient as Rousseau. Through him 
they teach men to love after the fashion of philoso- 



Mi 



OP THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



81 



phers : that, is, they teach to men, to Frenchmen, a 
love without gallantry,— a love without anytlnng of 
that fine flower of youthfulness and gentility which 
places it, if not among the virtues, among the or- 
naments of life. Instead of this passion, nati- rally 
allied to grace and manners, they infuse into their 
youth an unfashioned, indelicate, sour, gloomy, fero- 
cious medley of pedantry and lewdness, — of meta- 
physical speculations blended with the coarsest sen- 
suality. Such is the general morality of the passions 
to be found in their famous philosopher, in his fa- 
mous work of philosophic gallantry, the Nouvelle Mo- 

ise. 

When the fence from the gallantry of preceptors 
is broken down, and your famiUes are no longer 
protected by decent pride and salutary domestic 
prejudice, there is but one step to a frightful cor- 
ruption. The rulers in the National Assembly are 
in good hopes that the females of the first families 
in France may become an easy prey to dancing-mas- 
ters, fiddlers, pattern-drawers, friseurs, and valcts-de- 
chambre, and other active citizens of that description, 
who, having the entry into your houses, and being 
half domesticated by their situation, may be blended 
with you by regular and irregular relations. By a 
law they have made these people their equals. By 
adopting the sentiments of Rousseau they have made 
them your rivals. In this manner these great legis- 
lators complete their plan of levelling, and establish 
their rights of men on a sure foundation. 

I am certam that the writings of Rousseau lead 
directly to this kind of shameful evil. I have often 
wondered how he comes to be so much more admired 
and followed on the Continent than he is here. Per- 



I ' 



■Ml 



82 



LETTEB TO A MEMBEB 



haps a secret charm in the language may have its 
sliare in this extraordinary difference. We certainly 
perceive, and to a degree we feel, in this writer, a 
style glowing, animated, enthusiastic, at the same 
time that we find it lax, diffuse, and not in the best 
taste of composition, — all the members of the piece 
being pretty equally labored and expanded, without 
any due selection or subordination of parts. He is 
generally too much on the stretch, and his manner 
has little variety. We cannot rest upon any of his 
works, though they contain observations which occa- 
sionally discover a considerable insight into human 
nature. But his doctrines, on the whole, arc so inap- 
plicable to real life and manners, that we never dream 
of drawing from them any rule for laws or conduct, 
or for fortifying or illustrating anythiiig by a refer- 
ence to his opinions. They have with us the fate of 
older paradoxes : — 

Cum ventum ad varum est, lensvs moresque repugnant, 
Atqne ipsa ntilitas, justi prope mater et seqni. 

Perhaps bold speculations are more acceptable bo- 
cause more new to you than to us, who have been 
long since satiated with them. We continue, as in 
the two last ages, to read, more generally than I be- 
lieve is now done on the Continent, the authors of 
sound antiquity. These occupy our minds; they 
give us another taste and turn ; and will not suffer 
us to be more than transiently amused with paradox- 
ical morality. It is n .hat I consider this writer as 
wholly destitute of just notions. Amongst his irreg- 
ularities, it must be reckoned that he is sometimes 
moral, and moral in a very sublime strain. But the 
general spirit and tendency of his works is mischiev- 
ous, — and the more mischievous for this mixture: 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



88 



foi itorfoct depravity of sentiment is not rcconcilablo 
with cloqtieucc ; and the mind (tliough corruptible, 
not coniplexionally vicious) would reject and throw 
off with disgust a lesson of pure and unmixed evil. 
These writers malie even virtue a pander to vice. 

However, I less consider the author than the sys- 
tem of the Assembly in perverting morality through 
his moans. This I confess makes me nearly despair 
of any attempt upon the minds of their followers, 
through reason, honor, or conscience. The great ob- 
ject ol" your tyrants is to destroy the gentlemen of 
France ; and for that purpose they >^ stroy, to the best 
of thoir power, all the eflfoct of those relations which 
may render considerable men powerful or even safe. 
To destroy that order, they vitiate the whole commu- 
nity. That no means may exist of confederating 
against their tyranny, by the false sympathies of this 
Nouvelle Eloise they endeavor to subvert those prin- 
ciples of domestic trust and fidelity which form the 
discipline of social life. They propagate principles 
by which every servant may tliinli it, if not his duty, 
at least his privilege, to betray his master. By these 
principles, every considerable father of a family loses 
the sanctuary of his house. Debet sua (niique doitms 
esse perfugium tutissimum, says the law, which your 
legislators have taken so much pauis first to decry, 
then to repeal. They destroy all the tranquillity and 
security of domestic life : turning the asylum of tlw 
house into a gloomy prison, where the father of the 
family must drag out a miserable existence, endan- 
gered in proportion to the apparent means of his safe- 
ty, —where he is worse than solitary in a crowd of 
domestics, and more apprehensive from his servants 
and inmates than from the hired, bloodtlursty mob 



» ; 



VOL. IV. 



mt 



84 



LGTTEB TO A HEMBEB 



1^ 



without doors who are ready to pull him to tho Ian- 
teme. 

It is thus, and for the same end, that they endeav- 
or to destroy that ti aal of conscience which exists 
indepenaontly oi Cu >,vS and decrees. Your despots 
govern by terror. Tliey know that he who fears God 
fears nothing else ; and therefore they eradicate from 
the mind, through their Voltaire, their HelvtJtius, and 
the rest of that infamous gang, that only sort of fear 
which generates true courage. Their object is, that 
their fellow-citizens may be under the dominion of no 
iiwe but that of their Committee of Research and of 
their lanteme. 

Having found the advantage of assassination in the 
formation of their tyranny, it is the grand resource 
in which they trust for the support of it. Whoever 
opposes any of their proceedings, or is suspected of a 
design to oppose them, is to answer it with his life, 
or the lives of his wife and children. This infamous, 
cruel, and cowardly practice of assassination they 
have the impudence to call merciful. They boast that 
they operated their usurpation rather by terror than 
by force, and that a few seasonable murders have 
prevented the bloodshed of many battles. There is 
no doubt they will extend these acts of mercy when- 
ever they see an occasion. Dreadful, however, will 
be the consequences of their attempt to avoid the 
evils of war by the merciful policy of murder. If, by 
effectual punishment of the guilty, they do not wholly 
disavow that practice, and the threat of it too, as any 
part of their policy, if ever a foreign prince enters 
into France, he must enter it as into a country of 
assassins. The mode of civilized war will not be 
practised : nor are the French who act oji the present 



llli 



OP THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



85 



system entitled to expect it. Tlicy whose known pol- 
icy it is to assassinate every citizen whom they sus- 
pect to be discontented by their tyranny, and to cor- 
rupt the soldiery of every open eneiry, must look for 
no modified hostility. All war, which is not battle, 
will be military execution. This will beget acts of 
retaliation from you ; and every retaliation will beget 
a new revenge. T)ie hell-hounds of war, on all sides, 
will be uncoupled and unmuzzled. The now school 
of murder and barbarism set up in Paris, having de- 
stroyed (so far as in it lies) all the other manners 
and principles which have hitherto civilized Europe, 
will destroy also the mode of civilized war, which, 
more than anything else, has distinguished the Chris- 
tian world. Such is the approaching golden age 
which the Virgil * of your Assembly has sung to his 

PoUios! 

In such a situation of your political, your cml, 
and your social morals and mannfcx-, how can you be 
hurt by the freedom of any discussion ? Caution is 
for those who have something to lose. What I have 
said, to justify myself in not apprehending any ill 
consequence from a free discussion of the absurd con- 
sequences which flow from the relation of the lawful 
kuig to the usurped Constitution, will apply to my 
vindication w:th regard to the exposure 1 have made 
of the state of the army under the same sophistic 
usurpation. The present tyrants want no arguments 
to prove, what they must daily feel, that no good 
army can exist on their principles. They are in no 
want of a monitor to suggest to them the policy of 
getting rid of the army, as well as of the king, w'-en- 
ever they are in a condition to effect that measure 

• Mirabean'i speech concerning universal peace. 



36 



LETTER TO A MEMBEB 



What hopes may bo entertained of your army for the 
restoration of your liberties I know not. At present, 
yielding obedience to the pretended orders of a king 
who, they are perfectly apprised, has no will, and 
who never can issue a mandate which is not in- 
tended, in the first operation, or in its certain conse- 
quences, for his own destruction, your array seems to 
make one of the principal links in tlie chain of that 
servitude of anarchy by wliicli a cruel usurpation 
holds an undone people at once in bondage and con- 
fusion. 

You ask mo what I think of the conduct of Gen- 
eral Monk. How tliis aflbcts your case I cannot tell. 
I doubt whether you possess in Franco any ixji^ons 
of a capacity to serve the French monarchy in the 
same manner in which Monk served the monarchy of 
England. The army which Monk commanded had 
been formed by Cromwell to a perfection of discipline 
which perhaps has never been exceeded. That army 
was besides of an excellent composition. The soldiers 
were men of extraordinary piety after their mode; of 
the greatest regularity, and even severity of manners ; 
brave in the field, but modest, quiet, and orderly in 
their quarters ; men who abhorred the idea of assas- 
sinating their officers or any oilier persons, and who 
(they at least who served in this island) were firmly 
attached to those generals by whom they were well 
treated and ably commanded. Such an army, onco 
gained, might bo depended on. I doubt much, if 
you could now find a Monk, whether a Monk could 
find in France such an army. 

I certainly agi-ee with you, that in all probability 
we owe our whole Constitution to the restoration of 
the English monarchy. The state of thmgs from 



■«t 



OP THE NATIONAL A89EMHL' 



87 



which Monk relieved England .. -, however, by no 
means, at that time, so deplorable, iu any sense, as 
yours is now, and under the present sway is likely to 
continue. Cromwell had deUvered Kn^dand from an- 
archy. His government, though military and des[K)t- 
ic, had been regular and orderly. Under the iron, 
and under the yoke, the soil yielded its produce. 
After his death the evils of aniirchy were rather 
dreaded than felt. Every man was yet safe in his 
house and in his property. But it must be admitted 
that Monk freed this nation from great and just ap- 
prehensions both of future anarchy and of probable 
tyranny in some form or other. The king whom he 
gave us was, indeed, the very reverse of your benig- 
nant sovereign, who, in reward for his attempt to 
bestow liberty on his subjects, languishes himself m 
prison. The person given to us by Monk was a man 
without any sense of his duty as a prince, without 
any regard to the dignity of his crown, without any 
love to his people, — dissolute, false, venal, and desti- 
tute of any positive good quality whatsoever, except 
a pleasant temper, and the. manners of a gentleman. 
Yet the restoration of our monarchy, even in the per- 
son of such a prince, was everything to us ; for with- 
out monarchy in England, most certainly we never 
can enjoy either peace or liberty. It was under this 
conviction that the very first regular step which we 
took, on the Revolution of 1688, was to fill the throne 
with a real king ; and even before it could bo done 
in due form, the chiefs of the nation did not attempt 
themselves to exercise authority so much as by inte- 
rim. They instantly requested the Prince of Orange 
to take the government on himself. Tlie throne was 
not eflFectively vacant for an hour. 



• ; 



^i 



38 



LETTER TO A MEMBER 



4 



Your fundamental laws, as weU as ours, suppose a 
monarchy. Your zeal, Sir, in standing so firmly for 
it as you have done, shows not only a sacred respect 
for your honor and fidelity, but a well-informed at- 
tachment to the real welfare and true liberties of 
your country. I have expressed myself ill, if I have 
given you cause to imagine that I prefor the conduct 
of those who have retired from this warfare to your 
behavior, who, with a courage and constancy almost 
supernatural, have struggled against tyranny, and 
kept the field to the 'ast. You see I have corrected 
the exceptionable part in the edition which I now 
send you. Indeed, in such terrible extremities as 
yours, It is not easy to say, in a political view, what 
hue of conduct is the most advisable. In that state 
of things, I cannot bring myself severely to condemn 
persons who are whoUy unable to bear so much as 
the sight of those men in the throne of legislation 
who are only fit to be the objects of criminal justice. 
If fatigue, if disgust, if unsurmountable nausea drive 
them away from such spectacles, ubi miseriarum pars 
twn minima erat videre et aspici, I cannot blame them 
He must have an heart of adamant who could hear a 
set of traitors puffed up with unexpected and unde- 
served power, obtained by an ignoble, unmanly, and 
perfidious rebellion, treating their honest follow-cit. 
izens as rebels, because they refused to bind them 
selves through their conscience, against the dictates 
of conscience itself, and had declined to swear an 
active compliance with their own ruin. How could 
a man of common flesh and blood endure that those 
who but the other day had skulked unobserved in 
their antechambers, scornfully insulting men illustri- 
ous in their rank, sacred in their function, and ven- 



OP THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



39 



erable in their character, now in decline of life, and 
swimming on the wrecks of their fortunes, — that 
those miscreants should tell such men scornfully and 
outrageously, after they had robbed them of all their 
property, that it is more than enough, if they are 
allowed what will keep them from absolute famine, 
and that, for the rest, they must let their gray hairs 
fall over the plough, to make out a scanty subsistence 
with the labor of their hands ? Last, and worst, who 
could endure to hear this unnatural, insolent, and 
savage despotism called liberty ? If, at this distance, 
sitting quietly by my fire, I cannot read their decrees 
and speeches without indignation, shall I condemn 
those who have fled from the actual sight and hear- 
ing of all these horrors ? No, no ! mankind has no 
title to demand that we should be slaves to their 
guilt and insolence, or that we should serve them in 
spite of themselves. Minds sore with the poignant 
sense of insulted virtue, filled with high disdain 
against the pride of triumphant baseness, often have 
it not in their choice to b>and their ground. Their 
complexion (which might defy the rack) cannot go 
through such a trial. Something very high must 
fortify men to that proof. But when I am driven to 
comparison, surely I cannot hesitate for a moment 
to prefer to such men as are common those heroes 
who in the midst of despair perform all the tasks of 
hope, — who subdue their feelings to their duties, — 
who, in the cause of humanity, liberty, and honor, 
abandon all the satisfactions of life, and every day 
incur a fresh risk of life itself. Do me the justice to 
believe that I never can prefer any fastidious virtue 
(virtue still) to the unconquered perseverance, to the 
affectionate patience, of tliose who watch day and 



i ■ I 




40 



LETTER TO A MEMBEB 



I- 



night by the bedside of their delirious country,— 
who, for their love to that dear and venerable name, 
bear all the disgusts and all the buffets they receive 
from their frantic mother. Sir, I do look on you as 
true martyrs ; I regard you as soldiers vvlio act far 
more in the spirit of ' ar Commander-in-CIiief and 
the Captain of our Salvation than those who have left 
you : though I must first bolt myself very thorough- 
ly, and know that I could do better, before I can cen- 
sure them. I assure you, Sir, that, when I consider 
your unconquerable fidelity to your sovereign and to 
your country, — the courage, fortitude, magnanim- 
ity, and long-suffering of yourself, and the Abbd 
Maury, and of M. Cazal^s, and of many worthy per- 
sons of all orders in your Assembly, — I forget, in 
the lustre of these great qualities, that on your side 
has been displayed an eloquence so rational, manly, 
and convincing, that no time or country, perhaps, 
has ever excelled. But your talents disappear in 
my admiration of your virtues. 

As to M. Mounier and M. Lally, I have always 
wished to do justice to their parts, and their elo- 
quence, and the general purity of their motives. 
Indeed, I saw very well, from the beginning, the 
mischiefs which, with all these talents and good 
intentions, they would do their country, through 
their confidence in systems. But their distemper 
was an epidemic malady. They were young and 
inexperienced ; and when will young and inexperi- 
enced men learn caution and distrust of themselves ? 
And when will men, young or old, if suddenly raised 
to far higher power than that which absolute kings 
and emperors commonly enjoy, learn anything like 
moderation? Monarchs, in general, respect some 



OP THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



41 



settled order of things, which they find it difficult to 
move from its basis, and to which they are obliged to 
conform, even when there are no positive limitations 
to their power. These gentlemen conceived that 
they were chosen to new-model the state, and even 
the whole order of civil society itself. No wonder 
that they entertained dangerous visions, when the 
king's ministers, trustees for the sacred deposit of 
the monarchy, were so infected with the contagion of 
project and system (I can hardly think it black pre- 
meditated treachery) that they publicly advertised 
for plans and schemes of government, as if tl y were 
to provide for the rebuilding of an hospital that had 
been b^ • ed down. What was this, but to unchain 
the 1. Cj rash speculation amongst a people of it- 
seh 0. v/O apt to be guided by a heated imagina- 
tion ■ a wild spirit of adventure ? 

Tlie fault of M. Mounier and M. Lally was very 
great ; but it was very general. If those gentlemen 
stopped, when they came to the brink of the gulf of 
guilt and public misery that yawned before them in 
the abyss of these dark and bottomless speculations, 
I forgive their first error : in that they were involved 
with many. Their repentance was their own. 

They who consider Mounier and Lally as deserters 
must regard themselves as murderers and as traitors : 
for from what else than murder and treason did they 
desert ? For my part, I honor them for not having 
carried mistake into crime. If, indeed, I thought 
that they were not cured by experience, that they 
were not made sensible that those who would reform 
a state ought to assume some actual constitution of 
government which is to be reformed, — if they are not 
at length satisfied that it is become a necessary pre- 



42 



LETTEB TO A MEMBES 



liminary to liberty in France, to commence by the re- 
establishment of order and property of every kind, and, 
through the reestablishment of their monarchy, of 
every one of the old habitual distinctions and classes 
tif the state; —if they do not see that tliese classes are 
not to be confounded in order to be afterwards re- 
rived and separated, — if they are not convinced that 
the scheme of parochial and club governments takes 
up the state at the wrong end, and is a low and sense- 
less contrivance, (as making the sole constitution of 
a supreme power,) —I should then allow that their 
early rashness ought to be remembered to the last 
moment of their lives. 

You gently reprehend me, because, in holding out 
the picture of your disastrous situation, I suggest no 
plan for a remedy. Alas! Sir, tI»o proposition of 
plans, without an attention to circumstances, is the 
very cause of all your misfortunes ; and never shall 
you find me aggravating, by the infusion of any specu- 
lations of mine, the evils which have arisen from the 
speculations of others. Your malady, in this respect, 
is a disorder of repletion. You seem to think that my 
keeping back my poor ideas may arise from an indif- 
ference to the welfare of a foreign and sometimes an 
hostile nation. No, Sir, I faithfully assure you, my 
reserve is owing to no such causes. Is this letter, 
swelled to a second book, a mark of national antipa- 
thy, or even of national indifference ? I sliould act 
altogether in the spirit of the same caution, in a 
similar state of our own domestic affairs. If I were 
to venture any advice, in any case, it would be my 
best. The sacred duty of an adviser (one of the most 
inviolable that exists) would lead me, towards a real 
enemy, to act as if my best friend wore the party con 



\\-' 



OP THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLT. 



43 



cemed. But I dare not risk a speculation with no 
better view of your affairs than at present I can com- 
mand; my caution is not from disregard, but from 
solicitude for your welfare. It is suggested solely 
from my dread of becoming the author of inconsider- 
ate counsel. 

It is not, that, as this strange series of actions has 
passed before my eyes, I have not indulged my mind 
in a great variety of political speculations concerning 
them ; but, compelled by no such positive duty as does 
not permit me to evade an opinion, called upon by no 
ruling power, without authority as I am, and without 
confidence, I should ill answer my own ideas of what 
would become myself, or what would be serviceable 
to others, if I were, as a volunteer, to obtrude any 
project of mine upon a nation to whose circum- 
stances I could not be sure it might be applicable. 
Permit me to say, that, if I were as confident as 
I ought to be diffident in my own loose, general 
ideas, I never should venture to broach them, if but 
at twenty leagues' distance from the cent, a of your 
affairs. I must see with my own eyes, I must, in a 
manner, touch with my own hands, not only the fixed, 
but the momentary circumstances, before I could ven- 
ture to suggest any political project whatsoever. I 
must know the power and disposition to accept, to 
execute, to persevere. I must see all the aids and 
all the obstacles. I must see the means of correcting 
the plan, where correctives would be wanted. I must 
see the things ; I must see the men. Without a con- 
currence and adaptation of these to the design, the 
very best speculative projects might become not only 
useless, but mischievous. Plans must Lo made for 
men. We cannot think of making men, and bindhig 



s 




44 



LETTER TO A MEM6EB 



Nature to our designs. People at a distance must 
judge ill of moil. They do not always answer to their 
reputation, when you approach them. Nay, the per- 
spective varies, and shows them quite otherwise than 
you thought them. At a distance, if we judge uncer- 
tainly of men, we must judge worse of opportunities, 
which continually vary their shapes and colors, and 
pass away like clouds. The Eastern politicians never 
do anything without tho opinion of the astrologers 
on the fortunate moment. They are in the right, if 
they can do no better ; for the opinion of fortune is 
something towards commanding it. Statesmen of a 
more judicious prescience look for the fortunate mo- 
ment too ; but they seek it, not in the conjunctions 
and oppositions of planets, but in the conjunctions 
and oppositions of men and things. These form their 
almanac. 

To illustrate the mischief of a wise plan, without 
any attention to means and circumstances, it is not 
necessary to go farther than to yoxir recent history. 
In tho condition in which France was found three 
years ago, what better system could be proposed, 
what less even savoring of wild theory, what fitter to 
provide for all the exigencies whilst it reformed all 
the abuses of government, than the convention of the 
States-General ? I think nothing better could be im- 
agined. But I have censtired, and do still presume 
to censure, your Parliament of Paris for not having 
suggested to the king that this proper measure was 
of all measures the most critical and arduous, one 
in which the utmost circumspection and the greatest 
number of precautions were the most absolutely neces- 
sary. The very confession that a government wants 
L'ither amendment in its conformation or relief to 



i> 



■ I 



OP THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



45 



great distress causes it to lose half its reputation, 
and as great a proportion of its strengtli as depends 
upon that reputation. It was therefore necessary 
first to put government out of danger, whilst at its 
own desire it suffered such an operation as a general 
reform at the hands of those whc 'ere much more 
filled with a sense of the disease than provided with 
rational means of a cure. 

It may bo said that this care and these precau- 
tions were more naturally the duty of the king's min 
isters than that of the Parliament. They were so : 
but every man must answer in his estimation for the 
advice he gives, when he puts the conduct of his 
measure into hands who he does not know will exe- 
cute his plans according to his ideas. Three or four 
ministers were not to be trusted with the boing of the 
French monarchy, of all the orders, and of all the 
distinctions, and all the property of the kingdom. 
What must be the prudence of those who could 
think, in the then known temper of the people of 
Paris, of assembling the States at a place situated as 
Versailles ? 

The Parliament of Paris did worse han to inspire 
this blind confidence into the king. For, as if names 
were things, they took no notice of (indeed, they rath- 
er countenanced) the deviations, which were manifest 
in the execution, from the true ancient principles of 
the plan which they recommended. These devia- 
tions (as guardians of the ancient laws, usages, and 
Constitution of the kingdom) the Parliament of Paris 
ought not to have suffered, without the strongest re- 
monstrances to the throne. It ought to have sound- 
ed the alarm to the whole nation, as it had often done 
on thhigs of infinitely less importance. Under pre- 



.h 



'K 



ii 



46 



LETTER TO A MEMBER 



tence of resuscitating the ancient Constitution, the 
Parliament saw one of the strongest acts of innova- 
tion, and the most leading in its consequences, car- 
ried into effect before their eyes, — and an innovation 
through the medium of despotism : that is, they suf- 
fered the king's ministers to new-model the whole 
representation of the Tien Mat, and, in a great meas- 
ure, that of the clergy too, and to destro'^ ♦he ancient 
proportions of the orders. These chan^os, unques- 
tionably, the king had no right to make ; and here 
the Parliaments failed in their duty, and, along with 
their country, have perished by this failure. 

What a number of faults have led to this multitude 
of misfortunes, and almost all from this one source, 
— that of considering certain general maxims, with- 
out attending to circumstances, to times, to places, 
to conjunctures, and to actors ! If we do not attend 
scrupulously to all these, the medicine of to-day be- 
comes the poison of to-morrow. If any measure was 
in the abstract better than another, it was to call the 
States: ea vim salus morienfibus una. Certainly it 
had the appearance. But see the consequences of 
not attending to critical moments, of not regarding 
the symptoms which discriminate diseases, and which 
distinguish constitutions, complexions, and humors. 

Mox erat hoc ipsnm exitio ; fiiriisqne refecti 
Ardebant; ipsiqne snos. jam morte snb tegra, 
Discissog nndis laniabant dentibas artas. 

Thus the potion which was given to strengthen the 
Constitution, to heal divisions, and to compose the 
minds of men, became the source of debility, frenzy, 
discord, and utter dissolution. 

In this, perhaps, I have answered, I think, another 
of your questions,— Whether the British Constitu- 



IJ. 



ii ■ :^ 



OP THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



47 



tion is adapted to your circumstances? When I 
praised the British Constitution, and wished it to be 
well studied, I did not mean tliat its exterior form 
and positive arrangement should become a model for 
you or for any people servilely to copy. I meant to 
recommend the principles from which it has grown, 
and the policy on which it has been progressively im- 
proved out of elements common to you and to us. I 
am sure it is no visionary theory of mine. It is not 
an advice that subjects you to the hazard of any ex- 
periment. I believed the ancient principles to be 
wise in all cases of a large empire that would be free. 
I thought you possessed our principles in your old 
forms in as great a perfection as we did originally. 
If your States agreed (as I think they did) with your 
circumstances, they were best for you. As you had 
a Constitution formed upon principles similar to ours, 
my idea was, that you might have improved them as 
we have done, conforming them to the state and exi- 
gencies of the times, and the condition of property in 
your country, — having the conservation of that prop- 
erty, and the substantial basis.of your monarchy, as 
principal objects in all your reforms. 

I do not advise an House of Lords to you. Your 
ancient course by representatives of the noblesse (in 
your circumstances) appears to me rather a be* er 
instituti n. I know, that, with you, a set of men of 
rank have betrayed their constituents, their honor, 
their trust, their king, and their country, and lev- 
elled themselves with their footmen, that through 
this degradation they might afterwards put them- 
selves above their natural equals. Some of these per- 
sons have entertained a project, that, in reward of 
this their black perfidy and corruption, they may be 



'■^ 



■iuMMtaia 



48 



LETTER TO A MEMBER 



1 

I 



chosen to give rise to a new order, and to establish 
tliemselves into an House of Lords. Do you think, 
tliat, under the name of a British Constitution, I 
mean to recommend to you such Lords, made of sucli 
kind of stuff? I do not, however, include in tliis de- 
scription all of tliose who are fond of this scheme. 

If you were now to form such an House of Peers, 
it would bear, in ray opinion, but little resemblance to 
ours, in its origin, character, or the purposes which it 
might answer, at the same time that it would destroy 
your true natural nobility. But if you are not in a 
condition to ft-ame a House of Lords, still less are 
you capable, in my opinion, of framing anything 
which virtually and substantially could bo answera- 
ble (for tlie purposes of a stable, regular govern- 
ment) to our House cf Commons. Tliat House is, 
within itself, a much more subtle and artificial com- 
bination of parts and powers than people are gener- 
ally aware of. What knits it to the other members 
of the Constitution, 'vhat fits it to bo at once the 
great support and t:. great control of government, 
what makes it of such admirable service to that mon- 
archy which, if it limits, it secures and strengthens, 
would require a long discourse, belonging to the lei- 
sure of a contemplative man, not to one whose duty 
it is to join in communicating practically to the peo- 
ple the blessings of such a Constitution. 

Your Tiers Etat was not in effect and substance an 
House of Commons. You stood in absolute need of 
something else to supply the manifest defects ui such 
a body as your Tiers Mat. On a sober and dispassion- 
ate view of your old Constitution, as connected with 
all the present circumstances, I was fully persuaded 
that the crown, .■standing as things have stood, (and 



. ^1 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSKMBLT. 



49 



are likely to stand, if you are to hare any monarchy 
at all,) was and is incapable, alone and by itself, of 
holding a just balance between the two orders, and at 
the same time of effecting the interior and exterior 
purposes of a protecting goTcmment. I, whose lead- 
ing principle it is, in a reformation of the state, to 
make use of existing materials, am of opinion that 
the representation of the clergy, as a separate order, 
was an institution which touched all the orders more 
nearly than any of them touched the other ; that it 
was well fitted to connect them, and to hold a place 
in any wise monarchical commonwealth. If I refer 
you to your original Constitution, and think it, as I 
do, substantially a good one, I do not amuse you in 
this, more than in other tilings, with any inventions of 
mine. A certain intemperance of intellect is the dis- 
ease of the time, and the source of all its other dis- 
eases. I will keep myself as untainted by it as I can. 
Your architects build without a foundation. I would 
readily lend an helping hand to any superstructure, 
when once this is effectually secured, — but first I 
would say, Jo'9 ttov ario. 

You think, Sir, (and you might think rightly, upon 
the first view of the theory,) tiiat to provide for the 
exigencies of an empire so situated and so related 
as that of France, its king ought to be invested with 
powers very much superior to those which the king 
of England possesses under the letter of our Consti- 
tution. Every degree of power necessary to the state, 
and not destructive to the rational and moral freedom 
of individuals, to that personal liberty and personal 
security which contribute so much to the vigor, the 
prosperity, the happiness, and the dignity of a nation, 
— every degree of power which docs not suppose tiie 

TOL. IT. 4 



(^ 



Mfei 



50 



LETTEi 10 A Mr..li;EB 



total absence of all c Jiitrol jri all rcspoiisihility on 
the part of ministers, — a king ot France, in com- 
mon sense, ought to possess. But wliothcr the exact 
measure of autliority assignod by tho letter of the 
law to tlie king of Great Britain can answer to the 
exterior or interior purposes of tl\e French monarchy 
is a point which I caimot venture to judge upon. 
Here, both in tho power given, and its limitations, 
we have always cautiously folt our way. Tho jiarts 
of our Constitution have gradually, and almost insen- 
sibly, in u long course of time, accommodated tliem- 
sclves to each other, and to their connnon as well as 
to their separate purposes. But this adaptation of 
contending parts, as it has not been in ours, so it can 
iicver be in yours, or in any country, tho effect of a 
single instantaneous regulation, and no sound heads 
cotild ever think of doing it in that manner. 

I believe, Sir, that many on the Continent alto- 
gether mistake the condition of a king of Great 
Britain. He is a real king, and not an executive 
officer. If he will not trouble himself with contemp- 
tible details, nor wish to degrade himself by becoming 
a party in little squabbles, I am far from sure that a 
king of Great Britain, in whatever concerns In n as a 
king, or uideed as a rational man, who comt nes his 
public interest with hi« personal satisfaction, d >•»« not 
possess a more real, s. extensive power than the 
king of France was possessed of before this miserable 
revolution. The direct power of the king of England 
is considerable. His ind'rect, and far more certain 
power, is great indeed. He stands in need of nothiu? 
towards dignity, — of notliing towards splendor, — o: 
nothing towards authority, — of nothing at all 'owards 
consideration abroad. vDien was it that a irig of 



I 



I: 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



.^1 



£ngland wanted whcrewidial to make hi repp< 1, 
courted, or perhaps even feared, in every stait m 
Europe? 

I am constaiitlj of opinion tfiat your Mates, in 
threo orders, in the footj! r on which they stood in 
1014, wore capalde of bomg ! ought into a pro[»cr 
and harrrintiiovis comliination with royal autliority. 
This constitution by Estates was the natural and 
only just repro<i( itation of France. It grew out 
of the habitual conditions, relations, and n "iprocal 
claims of men. It grew oat of the oircu; astances 
of the country, and out o^ the state of pro|)ertv. The 
w etched scheme of your present ma-rors is m to fit 
the Constitution to the people, but v A\y to <,ostroy 
conditions, to dissolve relations, to cliang( ihti state 
of the. nation, auf! to subvert property, in order to fit 
their coimtry to tin ir theory ot a Constitution. 

Until vou make out praf tically th;U great work, a 
combinati m of oppos^ing ft. ces, "a work of labor 
lonf.^^, and endless praise,'" the utmost caution oup' 
to have been used in the r.Muction of the royal pov r, 
which alone was capable ot* holding toarether the c> n- 
par ttively heterogeneous mass of your States. T it 
at this day all these insidiations \re unseasonable. 
To ^vliat end should discuss tli limitations of 

roy . power? Your king is in pris^ i. Why spec- 
ulate on the measui ' aii'^ f mdard of I uerty? I 
ticuht much, very m\tch indeed, vhc ler Fnn e is 
H all ripe for liberty on any standard. Men are 
liuulified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their 
lispositioi) to put moral chains i pon their own appe- 
itcs, — in jiroportion as their lo o to justice is al >ve 
heir rapacity, — in proj^ortic as their soundnei-s 
and sobriety of understanding s above their vanity 



52 



LETTEB TO A MEMBEB 



t: 







and presumption, — in proportion as they are more 
disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, 
in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society can- 
not exist, unless a controlling power upon will and 
appetite be placed somewhere ; and the less of it there 
is within, the more there must be without. It is or- 
dained in the eternal constitution of things, that men 
of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions 
forge their fetters. 

This sentence the prevalent part of your country- 
men execute on themselves. They possessed not 
long since what was next to freedom, a mild, pater- 
nal monarchy. They despised it for its weakness. 
They were offered a well-poised, free Constitution. 
It did not suit their taste or their temper. They 
carved for themselves: they flew out, murdered, 
robbed, and rebelled. They have succeeded, and 
put over their country an insolent tyranny made up 
of cruel and inexorable masters, and that, too, of a 
description hitherto not known in the world. The 
powers and policies by which they have succeeded are 
not those of great statesmen or great military com- 
manders, but the practices of incendiaries, assassins, 
housebreakers, robbers, spreaders of false news, for- 
gers of false orders from authority, and other delin- 
quencies, of which ordinary justice takes cognizance. 
Accordingly, the spirit of their rule is exactly corre- 
spondent to the means by which they obtained it. 
They act more in the manner of thieves who have 
got possession of an house than of conquerors who 
have subdued a nation. 

Opposed to these, in appearance, bvit in appear- 
ance only, is another band, who call themselves the 
Moderate. These, if I conceive rightly of their con- 



OP THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



58 



duct, are a set of men who approve heartily of the 
whole new Constitution, but wish to lay heavy on 
the most atrocious of those crimes by which this fine 
Constitution of theirs has been obtained. They are a 
sort of people who afiFect to proceed as if they thought 
that men may deceive wiiiiout fraud, rob without 
injustice, and overturn everything without violence. 
They are men who would usurp the government of 
their country with decency and moderation. In fact, 
they are nothing more or better than men engaged 
in desperate designs with feeble minds. They are 
not honest; they are only ineffectual and unsyste- 
matic in their iniquity. They are persons who waiTt 
not the dispositions, but the energy and vigor, that 
is necessary for great evil machinations. They find 
that in such designs tliey fall at best into a secondary 
rank, and others take the place and lead in usurpa- 
tion which they are not qualified to obtain or to 
hold. They envy to their companions the natural 
fruit of their crimes ; they join to run them down 
with the hue and cry of mankind, which pursues 
their common offences ; and then hope to mount into 
their places on the credit of the sobriety with which 
they show themselves disposed to carry on what may 
seem most plausible in the mischievous projects they 
pursue in common. But these men are naturally 
despised by those who have heads to know, and 
hearts that are able to go through the necessary de- 
mands of bold, wicked enterprises. They are natu- 
rally classed below the latter description, and will 
only be used by them as inferior instruments. They 
will be only the Fairfaxes of your Cromwells. If 
they mean honestly, why do they not strengthen the 
arms of honest men to support thoir ancient, legal, 



1 it 






54 



LETTEB TO A MEMBER 



I'm 



wise, and free government, given to them in the 
spring of 1783, against the inventions of craft and 
the theories of ignorance and folly ? If they do not, 
they must continue the scorn of both parties, — some- 
times the tool, sometimes the incumbrance of that 
vhose views they approve, whose conduct tliey decry. 
These people are only made to be the sport of tyrants. 
They never can obtain or communicate freedom. 

You ask me, too, whether wo have a Committee 
of Research. No, Sir, — God forbid ! It is the ne- 
cessary instrun:ent of tyranny and usurpation ; and 
therefore I do n^*; wonder that it has had an early 
establishment under your present lords. We do not 
want it. 

Excuse my length. I have been somewhat occu- 
pied since I was honored with your letter; and I 
should not have been able to answer it at all, but for 
the holidays, which have given me means of enjoying 
the leisure of the country. I am called to duties 
which I am neither able nor willing to evade. I 
must soon return to my old conflict with the corrup- 
tions and oppressions which have prevailed in our 
Eastern dominions. I must turn myself wholly from 
those of France. 

In England we cannot work so hard as Frenchmen. 
Frequent relaxation is necessary to us. You are 
naturally more intonse in your application. I did 
not know this part of your national character, until I 
went into France in 1773. At present, this your dis- 
position to labor is rather Increased than lessened. 
In your Assembly you do not allow yourselves a re- 
cess even on Sundays. We have two days in the 
week, besides the festivals, and besides five or six 
months of the summer and autumn. This con tin- 



OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY. 



65 



ued, unremitted eflfort of the members of your Assem- 
bly I take to be one among the causes of the mis- 
chief they have done. They who always labor can 
have no true judgment. You never give yourselves 
time to cool. You can never survey, from its proper 
point of sight, the work you have finished, before you 
decree its final execution. You can never plan the 
future by the past. You never go into the country, 
soberly and dispassionately to observe the effect of 
your measures on their objects. You cannot feel dis- 
tinctly how far the people are rendered better and im- 
proved, or more miserable and depraved, by what you 
have done. You cannot see with your own eyes the 
sufferings and afflictions you cause. You know them 
but at a distance, on the statements of those who 
always flatter the reigning power, and who, amidst 
their representations of the grievances, inflame your 
minds against those who are oppressed. These are 
amongst the effects of unremitted labor, when men 
exhaust their attention, burn out their candles, and 
are left in the daxk. — Malo meorum negligentiam, 
guam ittorum olscuram diligentiam. 

I have the honor, Ac, 

Edmund Bubke. 

Bbaconbfibld, January 19th, 1791. 



4 !' 



1 1 



• ^ 



I- 



AN 

APPEAL 



THE NEW TO THE OLD WHIGS, 

in CONSEQDENCK Or BOMB lATK 

DISCUSSIONS IN PARLIAMENT 

RBLATIVB TO THB 

REFLECTIONS ON THE FRENCH REVOLUTION. 
1791. 



! ■ I 



i: 



!• 



:fci 



ADVERTISEMENT 

TO THE SECOND EDITION. 

THERE axe some corrections in this edition, which 
tend to render the sense less obscure in one or 
two places. The order of the two last members is 
also changed, and I believe for the better. This 
change was made on the suggestion of a very learned 
person, to the partiality of whose friendship I owe 
much; to the severity of whose judgment I owe 
more. 



ft 



!^ 




AK APPEAL 



noM 



THE NEW TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



n;^ 



AT Mr. Burke'? time of life, and in his disposi- 
tions, petere honestam missionem was all he had 
to do with his political associates. This boon they 
have not chosen to grant him. With many expres- 
sions of good-will, in effect they tell him he has load- 
ed the stage too long. They conceive it, though an 
harsh, yet a necessary office, in full Parliament to de- 
clare to the present age, and to as late a posterity as 
shall take any concern in the proceedings of our day, 
that by one book he has disgraced the whole tenor of 
his life. — Thus they dismiss their old partner of the 
war. He is advised to retire, whilst tJicy continue 
to serve the public upon wiser principles and under 
better axispices. 

Whether Diogenes the Cynic was a true philoso- 
pher cannot easily be determined. He has written 
nothing. But the sayings of his which are handed 
down by others are lively, and may be easily and 
aptly applied on many occasions by those whose wit 
is not so perfect as their memory. This Diogenes 
(as every one will recollect) was ci'izen of a little 
bleak town situated on the coast of the Euxine, and 
exposed 10 all the buffets of that inhospitable sea. 
He lived at a great distance from those wcathor- 



"i 1 



M ' 1 * 



i^H^iM^rfkH 



62 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



I, 



beaten walls, in ease and indolence, and in the midst 
of literary leisure, when he was informed that his 
townsmen had condemned him to be banished from 
Sinopo ; he answered coolly, " And I condemn them 
to live in Sinope." 

Tlie gentlemen of the party in which Mr. Burke 
has always acted, in passing upon him the sentence 
of retirement,* have done nothing more than to con- 
firm the sentence which he had long before passed 
upon himself. When that retreat was choice, which 
the tribunal of his peers inflict as punishment, it is 
plain he does not think their sentence intolerably se- 
vere. Whether they, who are to continue in the Si- 
nope which shortly he is to leave, will spend the long 
years, which I hope remain to them, in a manner 
more to their satisfaction than he shall slide down, 
in silence and obscurity, the slope of his declining 
days, is best known to Him who measures out years, 
and days, and fortunes. 

• Newspaper intelligence ought alwajs to be received with some 
degree of caution. I do not know that the following paragraph is 
founded on any authority ; but it comes with an air of authority. The 
paper is professedly in the interest of the modem Whig*, and under 
their direction. The paragraph is not disclaimed on their part. It pro- 
fesses to be the decision of those whom its author calls " the great and 
firm bo ly of the Whigs of England." Who are the Whigs of a differ- 
ent comj osition, which the promulgator of the sentence considers as 
composed of fleeting and unsettled particles, I know not, nor whether 
there be any of that description. The definitive sentence of " the great 
and firm >dy of the Whigs of En^.and " (as this paper gives it out) 
is as follows : — 

" The great and firm body of the Whigs of England, true to their 
principles, have decided on the dispute between Mr. Fox and Mr. 
Bnrke ; ond the former is declared to have maintained the pure doc- 
trines by which they are bound together, and upon which they have 
invariably acted. The consequence is, that Mr. Burke retires firom 
Parliament." — ifominj Chronicle, May 12, 1791. 



TO THE OLD WHI09. 



6.". 



Tlio quality of the sentence docs not, however, de- 
cide on the justice of it. Angry friendship is some- 
times as bad as calm finmity. For this reason the 
cold neutrality of abstract jus ze is, to a good and 
clear cause, a more desirable t.ing than an affection 
liable to be any way disturbed. When the trial is by 
friends, if the decision should happen to be favorable, 
the honor of the acquittal is lessened ; if adverse, the 
condemnation is exceedingly embittered. It is aggra- 
vated by coming from lips professing friendship, and 
pronouncing judgment with sorrow and reluctance. 
Taking in the whole view of life, it is more safe to 
live under the jurisdiction of severe, but steady rea- 
son, than under the empire of indulgent, 'nit capri- 
cious passion. It is certainly well for ^Ir. Burke 
that there are impartial men in the world. To them 
I address myself, pending the appeal which on his 
part is made from the living to the dead, from the 
modem Whigs to the ancient. 

The gentlemen, who, in the name of the party, 
have passed sentence on Mr. Burke's book, in the 
light of literary criticism, are judges above all chal- 
lenge. He did not, indeed, flatter himself that as a 
writer he could claim the approbation of men whose 
talents, in his judgment and in the public judgment, 
approach to prodigies, if ever such persons should be 
disposed to estimate the merit of a composition upon 
the standard of their own ability. 

In their critical censure, though Mr. Burke may find 
himself humbled by it as a writer, as a man, and as 
an Englishman, he finds matter not only of consola- 
tion, but of pride. He proposed to convey to a for- 
eign people, not his own ideas, but the prevalent 
opinions and sentiments of a nation, renowned for 



H 



64 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



wisdom, and celebrated in all ages for a well-under- 
stood and well-regulated love of freedom. Tliis was 
the avowed purpose of the far greater part of his 
work. As that work has not been ill received, and 
as his critics will not only admit, but contend, that 
this reception could not be owing to anj excellence 
in the composition capable of perverting the public 
judgment, it is clear that ho is not disavowed by the 
nation whose sentiments he had undertaken to de- 
scribe. His representation is authenticated by the 
verdict of his country. Had his piece, as a work of 
skill, been thought worthy of commendation, sorao 
doubt might have been entertained of the cause of 
his success. But the matter stands exactly as he 
wishes it. Ho is more happy to have his fidelity in 
representation recognized by the body of the people 
than if he were to be ranked in point of ability (and 
higher he could not be ranked) with those whose crit- 
ical censure he has had the misfortune to incur. 

It is not from this part of their decision which the 
author vrishes an appeal. There are things which 
touch him more nearly. To abandon them would 
argue, not diffidence in his abilities, but treachery/ 
to his cause. Had h'a work been recognized as a 
pattern for dexterous argument and powerful elo- 
quence, yet, if it tended to establish maxims or to 
inspire sentiments adverse to the wise and free Con- * 
stitution of this kingdom, ho would only have cause 
to lament that it possessed qualities fitted to perpet- 
uate the memory of his offence. Oblivion would be 
the only means of his escaping the reproaches of pos- 
terity. But, after receiving the common allowance 
due to the common v/eakness of man, he wishes to 
owe no part of the indulgence of the world to its for- 






i.^--^ — *-■ I 



TO THE OLD waiOS. 



85 



getfuinesB. He is at issue with the party before the 
present, and, if ever he can reach it, before the coin- 
ing generation. 

The author, several months previous to h\s pvihli- 
cation, well knew that two gentlemen, both of tlietii 
possessed of the most distinguished abilities, and of 
a most decisive authority in tlie party, had differed 
with him in one of the most material points relative 
to the French Rc\.<l ition: that is, in their opinion 
of the behavior of the French soldiery, and its n-'olt 
from its officers. .S t the time of their public declara- 
tion on this subject, ae did not imagine the opinion of 
these two gentlemen had extended a fjrreat way \«> 
yond themselves. He was, however, well aware of 
the probability that persons of their just credit and 
influence would at length dispose the greater number 
to an agreement with their sentiments, and perhaps 
might induce the whole body to a tacit acquiescence 
in their declarations, under a natural and not always 
an improper dislike of showing a difference with those 
who lead their party. I will not deny that in gener- 
al this conduct in parties is defensible ; but within 
what limits the practice is to be circumscribed, and 
with what exceptions the doctrine which supports 
it is to be received, it is not ni7 present purpose to 
define. The present question has nothing to do with 
their motives ; it only regards the public expression 
of their sentiments. 

The author is compelled, however reluctantly, to 
receive the sentence pronounced upon ^- ai in the 
House of Commons as that of the party. It pro- 
ceeded from the mouth of him who must he regard- 
ed as its authentic organ. In a discussion which 
continued for two days, no one gentleman of the 

VOL. IV. 5 




6Q 



APPEAL PHOM THE NEW 



! 



opposition interposed a negative, or even a doubt, 
in favor of him or his opinions. If an idea consonant 
to the doctrine of liis book, or favorable to his con- 
duct, lurks in the minds of any persons in that de- 
scription, it is to be considered only as a peculiarity 
which they indulge to their own private liberty of 
thinking. The author cannot reckon upon it. It 
has nothing to do with them as members of a party. 
In their public capacity, in everything that meets the 
public ear or public eye, the body must be consid- 
ered as unanimous. 

They must have been animated with a very warm 
zeal against those opinions, because they were under 
no necessity of acting as they did, from any just causo 
of apprehension that the errors of this writer should 
be taken for theirs. Tlicy might disapprove ; it was 
not necessary they should disavow him, as they have 
done in the whole and in all the parts of his book ; 
because neither in the whole nor in any of the parts 
were they directly, or by any implication, involved. 
The author was known, indeed, to have been warm- 
ly, strenuously, and affectionately, against all allure- 
ments of ambition, and all possibility of alienation 
from pride or personal pique or peevish jealousy, 
attached to the Whig party. With one of them he 
has had a long friendship, which he must ever re- 
member with a melancholy pleasure. To the great, 
real, and amiable virtues, and to the unequalled abil- 
ities of that gentleman, he shall always join with his 
country ir paying a just tribute of applause. There 
are others in that party for whom, without any shade 
of sorrow, he bears as high a degree of love as tau 
enter into the human heart, and as much veneration 
as ought *:o be paid to human creatures ; because he 



. 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



67 



firmly believes that they are endowed witli as many 
and as great virtues as the nature of man is capable 
of producing, joined to great clearness of intellect, to 
a just judgment, to a wonderful temper, and to tnie 
wisdom. His sentiments with regard to them can 
never vary, without subjecting him to the just indig- 
nation of mankind, who are bound, and are "renerallv 
disposed, to look up with reverence to the best pat- 
terns of their species, and such as give a dignity to 
the nature of which we all participate. For the whole 
of the party ho has high respect. Upon a view, in- 
deed, of the composition of all parties, he finds great 
satisfaction. It Is, that, in leaving the service of his 
country, he leaves Parliament without all compari- 
son richer in abilities than he found it. Very solid 
and very brilliant talents distinguish the ministerial 
benches. The op;'osite rows are a sort of seminary 
of genius, and have brought forth such and so great 
talents as never before (amongst ns at least) have ap- 
peared together. If their owners are disposed to serve 
their country, (he trusts they are,) they are in a con- 
dition to render it services of the highest importance. 
If, through mistake or passion, they are led to con- 
tribute to its ruin, we shall at least have a consola^ 
tion denied to the ruined country tliat adjoins us : wo 
shall not be destroyed by men of mean or secondary 
capacities. 

All these considerations of party attachment, of 
pbfsonal regard, and of personal admiration ren- 
dered the author of the Reflections extremely cau- 
tious, lest the slightest suspicion should arise of his 
having undertaken to express the sentiments even 
of a single man of that description. Ilis words at 
the outset of his Reflections are these : — 



X 



68 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



\ ' 






" In the first letter I had the honor to write to you, 
and which at length I send, I wrote neither for nor 
from any description of men ; nor shall I in this. My 
errors, if any, are my own. My reputation alone is to 
answer for them." In another place ho says, (p. 
126,*) " I have no mari^i proxy. I speak only from 
myself, when I disclaim, as I do with all possible 
earnestness, all communion with the actors in that 
triumph, or with the admirers of it. When I assert 
anything else, as concerning the people of England, 
I speak from observation, not from authority** 

To say, then, that the book did not contain the sen- 
timents of tlieir party is not to contradict the author 
or to clear themselves. If the party had denied his 
doctrines to be the current opinions of the majority 
in the nation, they would have put the question on 
its true issue. There, I hope and believe, his ccn- 
surers will find, on the trial, that the author is as 
faithful a representative of the general sentiment of 
the people of England, as any person amongst them 
can be of the ideas of his own party. 
/ The French Revolution can have no connection 
with the objects of any parties in England formed 
before the period of that event, unless they choose 
to imitate any of its acts, or to consolidate any princi- 
ples of that Revolution with their own opinions. The 
French Revolution is no part of their original contract.* 
iie matter, standing by itself, is an open subject of 
political discussion, like all the other revolutions (and 
there are many) which have been attempted or ac- 
complislied in our age. But if any considerable num- 
ber of British subjects, taking a factious interest in 

• Rcflei'tions, &c., Ist ed.. London, J. Dodsley, 1790. — Worki, 
Vol. III. p. 34.?. in the present edition. 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



69 



the proceedings of France, begin publicly to incorpo- 
rate themF'jlves for the subversion of nothing short 
of the ichUe Constitution of this kingdom, — to in- 
corporate themselves for the utter overthrow of the 
body of its laws, civil and ecclesiastical, and with 
them of the whole system of its manners, in favor of 
the new Constitution and of the modern usages of 
the French nation, — I think no party principle could 
bind the author not to express his sentiments strongly 
against such a faction. On the contrary, he was per- 
haps bound to mark his dissent, when the leaders of 
the party were daily going out of their way to make 
public declarations in Parliament, which, notwith- 
standing the purity of their intentions, had a ten- 
dency to encourage ill-designing men in their prac- 
tices against our Constitution. 

The members of this faction leave no doubt of the 
nature and the extent of the mischief they mean to 
produce. They declare it openly and decisively. 
Their intentions are not left equivocal. They are 
put out of all dispute by the thanks which, formally 
and as it were officially, they issue, in order to recom- 
mend and to promote the circulation of tlie most atro- 
cious and treasonable libels against all the hitherto 
cherished objects of the love and veneration of this 
people. Is it contrary to the duty of a good subject 
to reprobate such proceedings? Is it alien to the 
office of a good member of Parliament, when such 
practices increase, and when the audacity of the con- 
spirators grows with their impunity, to point out in 
his place their evil tendency to the happy Constitu- 
tion which he is cliosen to guard ? Is it wrong, iu 
any sense, to render the people of England sensible 
how much they must suffer, if, unfortunately, such 



y 



70 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



'" H 



a wicked faction should become possessed in this 
country of the same power which their allies in tlie 
very next to us have so perfidiously usurped and so 
outrageously abused ? Is it inhuman to prevent, if 
possible, tlie spilling their blood, or imprudent to 
guard against the effusion of our omi f Is it contrary 
to any of the honest principles of party, or repugnant 
to any of the known duties of friendship, for any sen- 
ator respectfully and amicably to caution liis brother 
members against countenancing, by inconsiderate ex- 
pressions, a sort of proceeding wliich it is impossible 
they should deliberately approve ? 

He had undertaken to demonstrate, by arguments 
which he thought could not be refuted, and by docu- 
ments which he was sure could not be denied, that 
no comparison was to be made between tlie British 
government and the French usurpation. — That they 
who endeavored madly to compare them were by no 
means making the comparison of one good system 
with another good sy!>tem, wliicli varied only in lo- 
cal and circumstantial dilferences; much less that 
they were holding out to us a superior pattern of le- 
gal liberty, whicli we miglit substitute in the place of 
uur old, and, as they describe it, superannuated Con- 
stitution. He meant to demonstrate tliat the Frencli 
scheme was not a comparative good, but a positive 
evil. — That the question did not at all turn, as it 
had been stated, on a parallel between a monarchy 
and a republic. He denied tliat the present scheme 
of things in France did at all deserve tlie respcctaljle 
name of a republic : lie had tlierefore no comparison 
between monarcliies and republics to make. — That 
whac was done in France was a wild attempt to 
metliudi^e anarcliy, to perpetuate and lix uisurder. 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



Tl 



That it was a foul, impious, monstrous thing, wholly 
out of the course of moral Nature. He undertook 
to prove that it was generated in treachery, fraud, 
falsehood, hypocrisy, and unprovoked murder. — He 
ofiFered to make out that those who have led in that 
business had conducted themselves with the utmost 
perddy to their colleagues in function, and with the 
most flagrant perjury both towards their king and 
their constituents : to the one of whom the Ass^einljly 
had sworn fealty ; and to the other, when under no 
Bort of violence or constraint, they had sworn a full 
obedience to instructions. — That, by the terror of 
assassination, they had driven away a very greai 
number of the members, so as to produce a false ap- 
pearance of a majority. — That this fictitious majority 
had fabricated a Constitution, which, as now it stands, 
is a tyranny far beyond any example that can bo 
found in the civilized European world of our age ; 
that therefore the lovers of it must be lovers, not 
of liberty, but, if they really understand its nature, 
of the lowest and basest of all servitude. 

He proposed to prove that the present state of 
things in France is not a transient evil, productive, 
as some have too favorably represented it, of a last- 
ing good ; but that the present evil is only the means 
of producing future and (if that were possible) worse 
evils. — That it is not an undigested, imperfect, and 
crude scheme of liberty, which may gradually be 
mellowed and ripened into an orderly and social free- 
dom ; but that it is so fundamentally wrong as to be 
utterly incapable of correcting itself by any length of 
time, or of being formed into any mode of polity of 
which a member of the House of Connnoiis cuuid 
publicly declare his approb:.tion. 



I ; 



72 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



if' 



li 



If it had been permitted to Mr. Burko, he would 
have shown distinctly, and in dotaU, that what the 
Assembly calling itself National had held out as a 
large and Hberal toleration is in reality a cruel and 
insidious religious persecution, infinitely more bit- 
ter than any which had been heard of within this 
century. — Tliat it had a feature in it worse than the 
old persecutions. — That the old persecutors acted, 
or pretended to act, from zeal towards some system 
of piety and virtue : they gave strong preferences to 
their own ; and if they drove people from one relig- 
ion, they provided for them another, in which men 
might take refuge and expect consolation. — That 
their new persecution is not against a variety in con- 
science, but against all conscience. That it professes 
contempt towards its object; and whilst it treats all 
rehgion with scorn, is not so much as neutral about 
the modes : it unites the opposite evils of intolerance 
and of indifference. 

He could have proved that it is so far from reject- 
ing tests, (a? unaccountably had been assserted,) tliat 
the Assembly had imposed tests of a peculiar hard- 
ship, arising from a cruel and premeditated pecuni- 
ary fraud : tests against old principles, sanctioned by 
the laws, and binding upon the conscience. — That 
these tests were not imposed as titles to some new 
honor or some new benefit, but to enable men to hold 
a poor compensation for their legal estates, of which 
they had been unjustly deprived ; and as they had 
before been reduced from a<Buence to indigene, , so, 
on refusal to swear against their conscience, they' are 
now driven from indigence to famine, and treated 
with every possible degree of outrage, insult, and 
mlmmanity. — That these tests, which tlieir impos- 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



78 



ers well knew would not be taken, were intended for 
the very purpose of cheating their miserable Tictims 
out of the compensation which the tyrannic impos- 
tors of the Assembly had previously and purposely 
rendered the public unable to pay. That thus their 
\iltimate violence arose from their original fraud. 

He would have shown that the universal peace and 
concord amongst nations, which these common ene- 
mies to mankind had held out with the same fraud- 
ulent ends and pretences with which they had uni- 
formly conducted every part of their pmcoeding, was 
a coarse and clumsy deception, unworthy to be pro- 
posed as an example, by an informed and sagacious 
British senator, to any other country. — That, far 
from peace and good-will to men, ihey meditated 
war against all other governments, and proposed 
systematically to excite in them ail the very worst 
kind of seditions, in order to lead to their common 
destruction. — That they had discovered, in the liew 
instances in which they have hitherto had tlie power 
of discovering it, (as at Avignon and in the Comtat, 
at Cavaillon and at Carpentras,) in what a savage 
manner they mean to conduct the seditious and wars 
they have planned against their neiglibors, for the 
sake of putting themselves at the head of a confeder- 
ation of republics as wild and as mischievous as tlieir 
own. Ho would have shown in wliat manner that 
wicked scheme was carried on in those places, with- 
out being directly eitlier owned or disclaimed, in 
hopes that the undone people should at length be 
obliged to fly to their tyrannic protection, as some 
sort of refuge from their barbarous and treacherous 
hostility. He would have shown from tliose exam- 
ples that neither this nor any other society could be 



74 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



in safety as long as such a public enemy was in a 
condition to continue directly or indirectly such prac- 
tices against its peace. — That Great Britain was a 
principal object of their machinations ; and that they 
had begun by establishing correspondences, commu- 
nications, and a sort of federal union with the fac- 
tious heri'. — That no practical enjoyment of a thing 
so imperfect and precarious as human happiness must 
be, even under the very best of governments, could 
be a security for the existence of tlicse governments, 
during the prevalence of the principles of Prance, 
propagated from that grand school of every disorder 
and every vice. 

He was prepared to show the madness of their dec- 
laration of the pretended rights of man, — the childish 
futility of some of their maxims, the gross and stu- 
pid absurdity and the palpable falsity of others, and 
the mischievous tendericy of ail such declarations to 
the well-being of men and of citizens and to the safe- 
ty and prosperity of every just commonwealth. He 
was prepared to show, that, in their conduct, the 
Assembly had directly violated not only every sound 
principle of government, bnt every one, without ex- 
ception, of their own false or futile maxims, and 
indeed every rule they had pretended to lay down 
for tlieir own direction. 

In a word, he was ready to show t'.iat those who 
could, after such a full and fair exposure, continue 
to countenance the Frencli iusanity were not mistuk- 
011 poll; oia'is, jut )>ad men; but he thouglit th-it in 
this case, as in many others, ignorance had been the 
cause of lidmiruion. 

l..esc are strong assertions. They required strong 
proofs. The member who laid down these positions 



ft ■ 



-Via^v'-tr^L^i^ijmfmifziawc^ 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



75 



was and is ready to give, in his place, to each posi- 
tion decisive evidence, corrospoudeiit to the nature 
and quality of the several allegations. 

In order to judge on the propriety of the interrup- 
tion given to Mr. Burke, in his speech in tlio com- 
mittee of the Quebec Bill, it is necessary to inquire, 
First, whether, on general principles, he ought to 
have been suiTered to prove his allegations ? Second- 
ly, whether the time ho had chosen was so very un- 
seasonable as to make his exercise of a parliamentary 
right productive of ill effects on his friend? or liis 
Country ? Thirdly, whether the opinions delivered in 
his book, and which he liad begun to expatiate upon 
tliat day, were in contradiction to his former princi- 
ples, and inconsistent with the general tenor of his 
public conduct ? 

They who have made eloquent panegyrics on the 
French Revolution, and who think a free discussion 
so very advantageous in every case and under every 
circumstance, ought not, in my opinion, to have pre- 
vented their eulogies from being tried on the test 
of facts. If their panegyric had been answered with 
an invective, (bating the difference in point of elo- 
quence,) the one would have been as good as the 
other : tliat is, they would both of tliem have been 
good for nothing. The panegyric and the satire 
ought to be suffered to go to trial ; and tliat whicii 
shrinks from it must be contented to stand, at best, 
as a mere declamation. 

I do not think Mr. Burke was wrong in the course 
he took. That which seemed to be recommended to 
him by Mr. Pitt was ratlier to extol the English 
Constitution than to attack the French. I do not de- 
termmo what would be best for Mr. Pitt to do in his 



76 



APPEAL FBOM THIS NEW 




situation. I do not deny tJiat he may have good rea- 
sons for his reserve. Perhaps they might have been 
as good for a similar reserve on the part of Mr. Fox, 
if his zeal had suffered him to listen to them. But 
there were no motives of ministerial prudence, or of 
that prudence which ought to guide a man perhaps 
on the eve of being minister, to restrain the author 
of the Reflections. He is in no office under the 
crown ; he is not the organ of any party. 

The excellencies of the British Constitution had al- 
ready exercised and exhausted the talents of the best 
tliinkers and the most eloquent writers cpd speakers 
that the world ever saw. But in the present case a 
system declared to be far better, and which certainly 
is much newer, (to restless and unstable minds no 
small recommendation,) was held out to the admira- 
tion of tho good people of England. In that case 
it was surely proper for those who had far other 
thoughts of the French Constitution to scrutinize 
that plan which has been recommended to our imi- 
tation by active and zeaious factions at home and 
abroad. Our complexion is such, that we are palled 
witli enjoyment, and stimulated with hope, — that wo 
become less sensible to a long-possessed benefit from 
the very circumstance that it is become habitual. 
Specious, untried, ambiguous prospects of new ad- 
vantage recommend themselves to the spirit of ad- 
vonture wliich more or less prevails in every mind. 
From this temper, men and factions, and nations too, 
have sacrificed the good of which they had been ui 
assured possession, in favor of wild and irrational 
expectntions. What should hinder Mr. Burke, if he 
thought this temper likely at one time or other to 
prevaU in our country, from exposing to a multitude 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



77 



eager to game the false calculations of this lottery of 
fraud ? 

I allow, as I ought to do, for the effusions which 
come from a general zeal for liberty. This is to be 
indulged, and even to be encouraged, as long as the 
questim is general. An orator, above all men, ought 
to be allowed a full and free use of the praise of lib- 
erty. A commonplace in favor of slavery and tyr- 
anny, delivered to a popular assembly, would indeed 
be a bold defiance to all the principles of rhetoric. 
But in a question whether any particular Constitu- 
tion is or is not a plan of rational liberty, this kind of 
rhetorical floui'sh in favor of freedom i.i general is 
surely a little out of its place. It is virtually a beg- 
ging of the question. It is a song of triiiraph before 
the battle. 

"But Mr. Fox does not make the panegyric of 
the new Constitution; it is the destruction only of 
the absolute monarchy he commends." Wlien that 
nameless thing which has been lately set up in 
France was described as " the most stupor dons and 
glorious edifice of liberty which had been erected 
on the foundation of human integrity in any time or 
country," it might at first have led the hearer into 
an opinion that the construction of the new fabric 
was an object of admiration, as well as the demoli- 
tion of the old. Mr. Fox, however, has explained 
himself ; and it would bo too like that captious and 
cavilling spirit which I so perfectly detest, if I were 
to pin down the language of an elopuent and ar- 
dent mind to tlie punctilious exactness of a pleader. 
Then Mr. Fox did not moan to applaud that mon- 
strous thing which, by the courtesy of France, they 
call a Constitution. I easily believe it. Far from 



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(716) 288- 5989 -Fox 



78 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



i 



\ 



meriting the praises of a great genius like Mr. Fox, it 
cannot be approved by any man of common sense or 
common information. He cannot admire the change 
of one piece of barbarism for another, ar " a worse. 
He cannot rejoice at the destruction of a monarchy, 
mitigated by manners, respectful to laws and usages, 
and attentive, perhaps but too attentive, to public 
opinion, in favor of the tyranny of a licentious, fero- 
cious, and savage multitude, without laws, manners, 
or morals, and which, so far from respecting the gen- 
eral sense of mankind, insolently endeavors to alter 
all tlie principles and opinions which have hitherto 
guided and contained the world, and to force them 
into a conformity to their views and actions. His 
mind is made to better things. 

That a man should rejo'ce and triumph in the de- 
stnTCtion of an absolute Monarchy, — that in such an 
event he should overlook the captivity, disgrace, and 
degradation of an unfortunate prince, and the contin- 
ual danger to a life whicli cxif^ts only to be endanger- 
ed, — tiiat he should overlook the utter ruin of whole 
orders and classes of men, extending itself directly, 
or in its nearest consequences, to at least a million 
of our kind, and to at least the temporary wretched- 
ness of a whole community, — I do not deny to be in 
some sort natural ; because, when people sec a po- 
litical object wliich they ardently det-iio liut in one 
point of view, they arc apt extremely to palliate o;- 
underrate the evils which may arise in obtaining it. 
This is no rcfioction on the luimanity of those per- 
sons. Their good-nature I am the last man in the 
world to dispute. It only shows that they are 
not sufficiently informed or sufficiently considerate. 
When they come to reflect seriously on the trans- 



8: 



*t» 



TO THE OLD WHIG3. 



79 



action, tlicy will think themselves bound to examine 
what the object is that has been acquired by all this ^ 
havoc. Tlicy will hardly assert that the destruction 
of an absolute monarchy is a thincr good in itself, 
without any sort of reference to thi antecedent state 
of things, or to consequences which result from the 
change, — without any consideration whctlier under its 
ancient '•ule a country was to a considerable degree 
flourishing and populous, highly cultivated and high- 
ly commercial, and whether, under that domination, 
though personal liberty had been precarious and inse- •^ 
cure, property at least was ever violated. They can- 
not take the moral sympathies of the human mind 
along with them, in abstractions separated from the 
good or evil condition of the state, from the quality 
of actions, and the character of the actors. None of 
us love absolute and uncontrolled monarchy ; but 
we could not rejoice at the sufferings of a Marcus 
Aurelius or a Trajan, who were absolute monarchs, 
as we do when Nero is condemned by the Senate to 
be punished more majorum ; nor, when that monster 
was obliged to fly with his wife Sporus, and to drink 
puddle, were men affected in the same manner as 
when the venerable Galba, with all his faults and 
errors, was murdered by a revolted mercenary sol- 
diery. With such things before our eyes, our feel- 
ings contradict our theories ; and wlien this is the 
case, the feelings are true, and the theory is false. 
"What I contend for is, that, in commending the de- 
struction of an absolute monarchy, all the circmmtan- 
ces ought not to be wholly overlooked, as "consid- 
erations fit only for shallow and superficial minds." 
(The words of Mr. Fox, or to that effect.) 
The subversion of a government, to deserve any 



80 



APPEAL PHOM THE NEW 




praise, must be considered but as a step preparatory 
to the formation of sometliiug better, either in tlie 
scheme of the government itself, or in the persons 
who administer it, or in both. These events cannot 
in reason be separated. For instance, when we praise 
our Eevolution of 1688, though the nation in that act 
was on the defensive, and was justified in incurring 
all the evils of a defensive war, we do not rest there. 
We always combine with the subversion of the old 
government the happy settlement which followed. 
When we estimate that Revolution, we mean to com- 
prehend in our calculation both the value of the 
thing parted with and the value of the thing received 
in exchange. 

The burden of proof lies heavily on those who tear 
to pieces the whole frame and contexture of their 
country, that they could find no other way of settling 
a government fit to obtain its rational ends, except 
that which they have pursued by means unfavorable 
to all the present happiness of millions of people, and 
to the utter ruin of several hundreds of thousands. 
In their political arrangements, men have no right to 
put the well-being of the present generation wholly 
out of the question. Perhaps the only moral trust 
with any certainty in our hands is the care of our 
own time. With regard to futurity, we are to treat 
it like a ward. We are not so to attempt an im- 
provement of his fortune as to put the capital of his 
estate to any hazard. 

It is not worth our while to discuss, like sophis- 
ters, whether in no case some evil for the sake of 
some benefit is to bo tolerated. Nothing universal) 
can be rationally affirmed on any moral or any polit-( 
ical subject. Pure metaphysical abstraction does not 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



81 



belong to these matters. The lines of morality are not 
like the ideal lines of mathematics. They are broad 
and deep as well as long. They admit of exceptions ; 
they demand modifications. Tliese exceptions and 
modifications are not made by the process of logic, 
but by the rules oi prudence. EaudfiliSe is not only 
the first in rank of tlie virtues political and moral, 
but she is the director, the regulator, the standard 
of them all. Metaphysics cannot live without defi- 
nition ; but 7rudence is cautious how she defines. 
Our courts cannot be more fearful in sufiering fic- 
titious cases to be brought before them for elicit- 
ing their determination on a point of law than pru- 
dent moriilists are in putting extreme and hazard- 
ous cases of conscience upon emergencies not exist- 
ing. Without attempting, tliereforc, to define, what 
never can be defined, the case of a revolution in gov- 
ernment, this, I think, may be safely affirmed, — that 
a sore and pressing evil is to be removed, and that a 
good, great in its amount and unequivocal in its 
nature, must be probable almost to certainty, before 
the inestimable price of our own morals and the well- 
being of a number of our fellow-citizens is paid for a 
revolution. If ever we ought to be economists even 
to parsimony, it is in the vob'ntary production of evil. 
Tlinry rp.YnhitiQILfiQfllaLns in i t soipething of ev il. 

It must always be, to those wlio are the greatest 
amateurs, or even professors, of revolutions, a matter 
very liard to prove, tliat tlie late French government 
was so bad that nothing worse in the infinite devices 
of men could come in its place. They who have 
brought France to its present condition ought to 
prove also, by something better than prattling about 
the Bastile, that their subverted government was as 



82 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 




iucapablo as the present certainly is of all improve- 
ment and correction. How dare they to say so who 
have never made that experii ont ? They are exper- 
imenters by their trade. Tliey have made an hundred 
others, infinitely more hazardous. 

The English admirers of the forty-eight thousand 
republics which form the French federation praise 
them not for what they are, but for what they are to 
become. They do not talk as politicians, but as 
prophets. But in whatever character they choose 
to found panegyric on prediction, it will be thought 
a little singular to praise any work, not for its own 
merits, but for the merits of something else which 
may succeed to it. When any political institution 
is praised, in spite of great and prominent faults of 
every kind, and in all its parts, it must be supposed 
to have something excellent in its fundamental prin- 
ciples. It must be shown that it is right, though 
imperfect, — that it is not only by possibility sus- 
ceptible of improvement, but that it contains in it a 
principle tending to its melioration. 

Before they attempt to show this progression of 
their favorite work from absolute pravity to finished 
perfection, they will find themselves engaged in a 
civil war with those whose cause they maintain. 
What! alter our sublime Constitution, the glory of 
France, the envy of the world, the pattern for man- 
kind, the masterpiece of legislation, the collected and 
concentrated glory of this enlightened age ? Have 
we not produced it ready-made and ready-armed, 
mature in its birth, a perfect goddess of wisdom and 
of war, hammered by our blacksmith midwives out 
of the brain of Ji piter himself? Have we not sworn 
our devout, profane, believing, infidel people to an 



"lis 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



83 



allegiance to this goddess, even before she had burst 
the dura mater, and as yet existed only in embryo ? 
Have wo not solemnly declared this Constitution un- 
alterable by any future legislature? Have we not 
bound it on posterity forever, though our abettors 
have declared that no one generation is competent 
to bind another ? Have we not obliged the meiabers 
of every future Assembly to qualifiy themselves for 
their seats by swearing to its conservation ? 

Indeed, the French Constitution always must be 
(if a change is not made in all their principles and 
fundamental arrangements) ^.government wlioliy by 
popular representation. It mu,;t be this or nothing. 
The French faction considers as an usurpation, as 
an atrocious violation of tlie indefeasible rights of 
man, every other description of government. Take 
it, or leave it : there is no medium. Let the irrefra- 
gable doctors fight out their own controversy in their 
own way and with their own weapons ; and when 
they are tired, let them commence a treaty of peace. 
Let the plenipotentiary sophisters of England settle 
with the diplomatic sophisters of France in what 
manner right is to be corrected by an infusion oi - 
wrong, and how truth may be rendered more true 
by a due intermixture of falsehood 

Having sufficiently proved that nothing could make 
it generally improper for Mr. Burke to prove what 
he had alleged concernhig tlie object of tliis dispute, 
1 pass to the second question, that is. Whether he was 
justified, in chf^osing the committee on the Quebec 
Bill as the field for tl»is discussion ? If it were usjces- 
sary, it might be shown that he was not tlie first to 
bring tb'>se discussions into Parliament, nor t .e first 



84 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



I 



to renew them in this session. The l;ict is notorious. 
As to the Quebec Bill, they were introduced into the 
debate upon that subject for two plain reasons : First, 
that, as he thought it then not advisable to make the 
proceedi"gs of the factious societies the subject of a 
direct motion, he had no otiier way open to him. 
Xobody has attempted to show that it was at all 
admissible into any ct'-er business before the House. 
Here everything was favorable. Here was a bill to 
form a new Constitution for a French province un- 
der English dominion. The question naturally arose, 
whether we should settle that constitution upon Eng- 
lish ideas, or upon French. Tliis furnished an oppor- 
tunity for examining into the value of the French 
Constitution, either considered as applicable to colo- 
nial government, or in its own nature. The bill, too, 
was in a committee. By the privilege of speaking 
as often as he pleased, he hoped in some measure to 
supply the want of support, which he had but too 
much reason to apprehend. In a committee it was 
always in his power to bring the questions from gen- 
eralities to facts, from declamation to discussion. 
Some benefit he actually received from this privilege. 
These are plain, obvious, natural reasons for his con- 
duct. I believe they are the true, and the only true 
ones. 

They who justify the frequent intercuptions, whicli 
at length wholly disabled him from proceeding, attrib- 
ute their conduct to a very different interpretation of 
his motives. They say, that, through corruption, or 
malice, or folly, he was acting his part in a plot to 
make his friend Mr. Fox pass for a republican, a- d 
thereby to prevent the gracious intentions of his so 
ereign from taking effect, which at that time had 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



85 



begun to disclose themselves in his favor.* This is 
a pretty serious cha/ge. This, on Mr. Burke's part, 
would be somuthing more than mistake, something 
worse than formal irregularity. Any contumely, any 
outrage, is readily passed over, by the indulgence 
which we all owe to sudden passion. The. 3 things 
are soon forgot up^n occasions in which all men are 
so apt to forget themselves. Deliberate injuries, to a 
degree . . " remembered, because they require 
delibpi itions to be secured against their re- 

turn. 
I au .orized to say for Mr. Burke, that he 



* To explain tins, it will be necessary to advert to a paragraph 
which appeared in a paper in the minority interest some time before 
this debate. " A very dark intrigue has lately been discovered, the 
authors of which are well known to us ; but until the glorious day 
shall come when it will not be a libel to tcU the trdth, we must' 
not bo so re<;ardless of our own safety as to publish their names. 
We will, however, state the fact, leaving it to the ingenuity of our 
readers to discover what we dare not publish. 

" Since the business of the armament against Russia has been 
under discussion, a great personage has been heard to say, ■ that he 
was not so wedded to Mr. Pitt as not to be very willing to give his 
coniidence to Mr. Fox, if the latter should be able, in a crisis like the 
present, to conduct the government of the country with greater advan- 
tage to the public' 

" This patriotic declaration immediately alarmed the swarm of 
conrtly insects that live only in the sunshine of ministerial favor. It 
was thought to be the forerunner of the dismission of Mr. Pitt, and 
every engine was set at work for the purpose of preventing such an 
event. The principal engine employed on this occasion was calcm- 
NY. It was whispered in the ear of a great personage, that Mr. Fox 
was the last man in England to be trusted by a king, because he was 
by FBIMCIPLE a REPUBLIC '. and consequently an enemy to monab- 
cur. 

" In the discussion of the Quebec Bill wliich stood for yesterday, it 
was the intention of some persons to connect with this subject the 



88 APPEAL "nOM THE NKW 

considers that cause assigned for the outrage ofTered 
to him as ton times worse tiian the outrage itself. 
Tiiere is such a strange confusion of ideas on tliis 
subject, tliat it is far more difficult to understand 
tlie nature of tl»e charge tlian to refute it when un- 
derstood. 31 r. Fox's friends were, it seems, seized 
witli a sudden panic terror lest ho should pass for a 
republican. I do not think they liad any ground 
for this apprehension. But lot us a.lrait they had. 
Wliat was there in the Quebec Bill, ratlier than in 
any other, which could sulyect him or tliem to that 
imputation ? Nothing in a discussion of tlie French 
Constitution, which might arise on the Quebec Bill, 

French Revolution, in hopes that Mr. Fox would be warmed bv a col- 
lision with Mr. Burke, and induced to defend that Revolution, in which 
w much power was taken from, and so little left in the crown. 

" Hud Mr. Fox fallen into the snare, his speech on the occasion 
would have been laid liefore a great personage, as a proof that a man 
who could defend such a revolution might be a very good republican, 
but could not possibly be a friend to monarchy. 

•' But those who laid the snare were disappointed ; .or Mr. Fox, in 
the short converxation which took place yesterday in the House of 
Commons, said, that he confessedly had thought favorably of the 
French Revolution, but that most certainly he never had, either in 
Parliament or out of Parliament, professed or defended republican 
principles." — Argus, April 22d, 1791. 

Mr. Biirke cannot answer for the truth nor prove the falsehood of 
the story given by the friends o." the party in this paper. He only 
knows that an opinion of its being well or ill authenticated had no 
influence on bis conduct. He meant only, to the best of his power, 
to guard the public against the ill designs of factions out of doors. 
What Mr. Burke did in Pariiament could hardly have been intended 
to draw Mr. Fox into any declarations unfavorable to nis principles, 
since (by the account of those who are his friends) he had long be- 
fore effijctually prevented the success of any »uch scandalous designs. 
Mr. Fox's friends have themselves done away that imputation on Mr. 
Burke. 




I 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



8l 



could tend to mako Mr. Fox pass for a repuljlican, 
except he should take occasiou to extol that state of 
things in Franco which atfocts to be a republic or a 
confederacy of republics. If such an encomium could 
make any unfavorable impression on the king's mind, 
Burely his voluntary pan-^gyrics on that event, not so 
much introduced as intiaded into other debates, with 
which they ' 1 little relation, must have produced 
that effect \,> much more certainty and much great- 
er force. The Q'- .bee Bill, at worst, was only one of 
those opportunities carefully sought and industrious- 
ly improved by himself. Mr. Sheridan had already 
brought forth a panegyric on the French system in ii 
Etill higher strain, with full as little demand from 
the nature of the business before the House, in a 
speech too good to be speedily forgotten. Mr. Fox 
followed him without any direct call from the sul ject- 
matter, and upon the same ground. To canvass 
the merits of the French C .istitution on the Quebec 
Bill could not draw forth any opinions which wore 
not brought forward before, with .0 small ostenta- 
tion, and with very little of necessity, or perhaps of 
propriety. What mode or what time of discussing 
tlie conduct of the French faction in England would 
not equally tend to kindlo this enthusiasm, and atlbrd 
those occasions for panegyric, which, far from shun- 
ning, Mr. Fox. has always industriously sought ? Ho 
himself said, very truly, iu the debate, that no arti- 
fices were necessary to draw from him his opinions 
upon that subject. But to fall upon Mr. Burke for 
makhig an use, at worst not more irregular, of the 
same liberty, is tantamount to a plain declaration 
that the topic of France is tabooed or forbidden 
ground to Mr. Burke, and to Mr. Burke alone. But 



i 



88 



APPEAL FROM TUE NEW 



i J 



f 

r 



Bureljr Mr. Fox is not a republican ; and wlmt sliould 
hinder him, when such a discussion camo on, from 
clearing himself unequivocally (as his friends say he 
had done near a fortnight before) of all such imputa- 
tions ? Instead of being a disadvantage to him, ho 
would have defeated all his enemies, and Mr. Burko, 
since he has thought proper to reckon him amoucst 
them. " 

But it seems some newspaper or other had im- 
puted to him republican principles, on occasion of h.is 
conduct upon the Quebec Bill. Supposing Mr. Burke 
to have seen these newspapers, (which is to 8U])pose 
niore than I believe to be true,) I would ask, When 
(lid the newspapers forbear to charge Mr Fox, or Mr. 
Burko himself, with republican principles, or uny 
other principles which tl.o- .'lought could render 
both of tliem odious, ,omei.mes to one description 
of people, sometimes to another ? Mr. Burke, since 
the publication of his pamphlet, has been a thousand 
time, charged in the newspapers with holding des- 
potic i>rincii)les. He could not enjoy one moment of 
domestic quiet, he could not perform tlie least parti- 
cle of public duty, if he did not altogether disregard 
the lauguiige of tlioso libels. But, however his sen- 
sibility might be alTected by such abuse, it would in 
hhn have been thought a most ridiculous reason for 
sluittiiig up tiic mouths of Mr. Fox or Mr. Sheridan, 
so as to prevent their delivering tlieir sentiments of 
the French Revolution, tliat, forsooth, " the ncwspa- 
liers had lately charged Mr. Burke with being an 
enemy to liberty." 

I allow that those gentlemen have privileges to 
which Mr. Burk- has no claim. But their friends 
ought to plea' .ose privileges, and not to assign 



TO TQE OLD WHIQS. 



bad reasons, on the principle of what is fair botweea 
man and man, and tlicreby to put tltcmselvos on a 
lovol with tliose wlio can so easily refute them. Let 
tliem say at once tliat his reputation is of no value, 
and that ho has no call to assert it, — but tliat theirs 
is of infinite concern to the party and the public, 
and to that consideration he ought to sacrillco 11 his 
opinions and all his feelings. 

In that language I should hear a stylo corrci*pond- 
ent to the proceeding, — lofty, indeed, but plain and 
consistent. Admit, however, for a moment, anci 
merely for argument, that this gentlci ■> liad ns 
good a right to continue as they had to -^^^ai these 
discussions ; in candor and equity they must allow 
that their voluntary descant in praise of tlie French 
Constitution was as much an oblique attack on Mr. 
Burise as Mr. Burke's inquiry into the foundation 
of this encomium could possibly be construed into 
an imputation upon them. They well knew that he 
felt like other men ; and of course he would think 
it mean and unwortliy to decline asserting in his 
place, and in the front of able adversaries, tlie prin 
ciples of what he had penned in his closet and with- 
out an opponent before him. .jy could not but bo 
convinced that declamations oi . lis kind would rouse 
him, — that he must tliink, coming from men of tlieir 
calibre, they were highly mischievous, — that they 
gave countenance to bad men and bad designs ; and 
tliough he was aware that the handling such matters 
in Parliament was delicate, yet he was a man very 
likely, whenever, much against his will, they were 
brought tliere, to resolve that there they should be 
thoroughly sifted. Mr. Fox, early in the preceding 
session, had public notice from Mr. Burke of the light 



90 



iPPEAL FROM THE NEW 



[ 



r 



in which he considered every attempt to introduce the 
example of France into the politics of this country, 
and of his resolution to break with his best friends 
and to join with his worst enemies to prevent it. He 
hoped that no such necessity would ever exist ; but 
in case it should, his determination was made. The 
party knew perfectly that ho would at least defend 
himself. He never intended to attack Mr. Fox, nor 
did he attack him directly or indirectly. His speech 
kept to its matter. No personality was employed, 
even in the remotest allusion. He never did impute 
to that gentleman any republican principles, or any 
other bad principles or bad conduct whatsoever. It 
was far from his words; it was far from his heart. 
It must be remembered, that, notwithstanding the 
attempt of Mr. Fox to fix on Mr. Burke an unjustifi- 
able change of opinion, and the foul crime of teach 
iug a set of maxims to a boy, and afterwards, when 
these maxims became adult in his mature age, of 
abandoning both the disciple and the doctrine, Mr. 
Burke never attempted, in any one particular, either 
to criminate or to recriminate. It may be said that 
he had nothing of the kind in liis power. Tliis lie 
does not controvert. He certainly had it not in his 
inclination. That gentleman had as little ground 
for the charges which he was so easily provoked to 
make upon him. 

The gentlemen of tlie party (I include Mr. Fox) 
have been kind enougli to consider the dispute 
brought on by this business, and the consequent 
separation of Mr, Burke from their corps, as a mat- 
ter of regret and uneasiness. I cannot be of opinion 
that by his exclusion they have had any loss at all. 
A man whose opinions are so very adverse to theirs, 



Tx I i^;-' 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



91 



adverse, as it was expressed, " as pole to pole," so 
mischievously as well as so directly adverse that they 
found themselves under the necessity of solemnly dis- 
claiming them in full Parliament, — such a man must 
ever be to them a most unseemly and unprofitable 
incumbrance. A cooperation witli him could only 
serve to embarrass them in all their councils. They 
have besides publicly represented him as a man capa- 
ble of abusing the docility and confidence of ingenu- 
ous youtli, — and, for a bad reason or for no reason, of 
disgracing his whole public life by a scandalous con- 
tradiction of every one of his own acts, writings, and 
declarations. If these charges be true, their exclu- 
sion of such a person from their body is a circum- 
stance which does equal honor to their justice and 
their prudence. If they express a degree of sensi- 
bility in being obliged to execute this wise and just 
sentence, from a consideration of some amiable or 
some pleasant qualifies which in his private life their 
former friend may happen to possess, they add to 
the praise of their wisdom and firmness the merit 
of great tenderness of heart and humanity of dispo- 
sition. 

On their ideas, the new Whig party have, in my 
opinion, acted as became them. The author of the 
Reflections, however, on his part, cannot, without 
great shame to himself, and without entailing ever- 
lasting disgrace on his posterity, admit tlie truth or 
justice of the charges which have been made upon 
him, or allow that he has in those Reflections dis- 
covered any principles to which honest men are 
bound to declare, not a shade or two of dissent, 
but a total, fundamental opposition. Ho must be- 
lieve, if he does not mean wilfully to abandon his 



92 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



cause and his reputatiou, that principles fundamen- 
tally at variance with tliose of his book are funda- 
mentally false. What those principles, the antipodes 
to his, really are, he can only discover from their 
contrariety. He is very unwilling to suppose that 
the doctrines of some books lately circulated are the 
principles of the party ; thougli, from tiio vehement 
declarations against his opinions, he is at some loss 
how to j"dge otherwise. 

For the present, my plan does not render it neces- 
sary to say anything further concerning the merits 
either of the one set of opinions or tlie other. Tlie 
author would have discussed the merits of both in his 
place, but he was not permitted to do so. 

I pass to the next head of charge, — Mr. Burke's 
inconsistency. It is certainly a great aggravation of 
his fault in embracing false opinions, that in doing 
so he is not supposed to fill up a void, but that he is 
guilty of a dereliction of opinions that are true and 
laudable. This is the great gist of the charge against 
him. It is not so much that he is wrong in his book 
(that, however, is alleged also) as that he has therein 
belied liis whole life. I believe, if he could venture 
to value himself upon anything, it is on the virtue 
of consistency that he would value himself the most. 
Strip him of this, and you leave liim naked indeed. 

In the case of any man who had written something, 
and spoken a great deal, upon ve-y multifarious mat- 
ter, during upwards of twenty-five years' public ser- 
vice, and in as great a variety of important events as 
periiaps have ever happened in the same number of 
years, it would appear a little hard, in order to chcrge 
sucli a man witli inconsistency, to see collected by his 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



93 



friend a sort of digest of his sayings, even to such as 
were merely sportive and jocular. This digest, how- 
ever, has been made, with equal pains and partiality, 
and without bringing out those passages of his writ- 
ings which might tend to show with what restric- 
tions any expressions quoted from liim ought to 
have been understood. From a great statesman he 
did not quite expect this mode of inquisition. If it 
only appeared in the works of common pamphlet- 
eers, Mr. Burke might safely trust to his reputation. 
When thus urged, he ought, perhaps, to do a little 
more. It shall be as little as possible ; for I hope 
not much is wanting. To be totally silent on his 
charges would not be respectful to Mr. Fox. Ac- 
cusations sometimes derive a weight from the per- 
sons who make them to which they are not entitled 
from their matter. 

He who thinks that the British Constitution ought 
to consist of the three members, of three very different 
natures, of which it does actually consist, and thinks 
it his duty to preserve each of those members in its 
proper place and with its proper proportion of power, 
must (as each shall happen to be attacked) vindicate 
the three several parts on the several principles pecu- 
liarly belonging to them. He cannot assert the dem- 
ocratic part on the principles on wliich monarchy is 
supported, nor can he support monarchy on the prin- 
ciples of democracy, nor can he maintain aristocracy 
on the grounds of the one or of the other or of both. 
All these he must support on grounds that are totally 
different, though practically they may be, and happily 
with us they are, brought into one harmonious body. 
A man could not be consistent in defending such va- 
rious, and, at first view, discordant, parts of a mixed 




I 



94 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



Constitution, without that sort of inconsistency with 
which Mr. Burke stands charged. 

As any one of ihe great members of this Consti- 
tution happens to be endangered, he that is a friend 
to all of them chooses and presses the topics neces- 
sary for the support of the part attacked, with all the 
strength, the earnestness, the vehemence, with all the 
power of stating, of argument, and of coloring, w'lich 
he happens to possess, and which tlie case demands. 
He is not to embarrass the minds of his hearers, or 
to incumber or overlay his speech, by bringing into 
view at once (as if ho were reading an academic lec- 
ture) all that may and ought, when a just occasion 
presents itself, to bo said in favor of the other mem- 
bers. At that time they are out of the court ; there 
is no question concerning them. Whilst he opposes 
liis defence on the part where the attack is made, he 
presumes that for his regard to the jut.t rights of 
all tlie rest he has credit in every candid' mind. He 
ought nol to apprehend that his raising fences about 
popular privileges this day will infer that he ought on 
the next to concur with those who would pull down 
the throne; because on the next he defends the 
tlu-one, it ought not to be supposed that he has aban- 
doned the rights of the people. 

A man, who, among various objects of his equal 
regard, is secure of some, and full of anxiety for the 
fate of others, is apt to go to mucli greater lengths 
in his preference of the objects of his immediate so- 
licitude than Mr. Burke has ever done. A man so 
circumstanced often seems to undervalue, to '.lify, 
almost to reprobate and disown, those that are out 
of danger. This is tlie voice of Nature and truth, 
and not of inconsistency and false pretence. The 



V 



TO THE OLD WEIG8. 



95 



danger of anytliing very dear to us removes, for the 
moment, every other affection from the mind. When 
Priam had his whole thoughts employed on the body 
of his Hector, he repels with indignation, and drives 
from him with a thousand reproaches, his surviving 
sons, who with an officious piety crowded about him 
to offer their assistance. A good critic (tliere is no 
l)etter than Mr, Fox) would suy that this is a master- 
stroke, and marks a dcup understanding of Nat 're in 
the father of poetry. Ho would dc'si)isc a Zoilus who 
would conclude from this passage that Homer meant 
to represent this man of affliction as hating or being 
indifferent and co^ri in his aifoctions to the poor relics 
of his house, or that he preferred a dead carcass to 
his living children. 

Mr, Burke does not stand in need of m allowance 
of this kind, which, if he did, by candid critics ought 
to be granted to him. If the principles of a mixed 
Constitution be admitted, he wants no more to justify 
to consistency everything he has said and done during 
the course of a political life just touching to its close. 
I believe that gentleman has kept himself more clear 
of runnino- into the fashion of wild, visionary theo- 
ries, or ot seeking popularity through every means, 
than any man perhaps ever did in the same situa- 
tion. 

He was the first man who, on the hustings, at a 
popular election, rejected the authority of instruc- 
tions from constituents, — or who, in any place, has 
argued so fully against it. Perhaps the discredit in- 
to which that doctrine of compulsive instructions 
under our Constitut- ti is since fallen may be due 
in a great degree to his opposing himself to it in 
that mauuer and oa that occasion. 



96 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



M. 



I 



Tho i-cforras in representation, and the bills for 
shortening the duration of Parliaments, he uniformly 
and jteadily opposed for many years together, in con- 
tradiction to many of his best friends. These friends, 
however, in his better days, when they had more to 
hope from his service and more to fear from his loss 
than now they have, never chose to find any incon- 
sistency between his acts and expressions in favor of 
liberty and his votes on those questions. But there 
is a time for all things. 

Against the opinion of many friends, even against 
the solicitation of some of them, he opposed those of 
the Cluirch clergy who had petitioned the House of 
Commons to be discharged from the subscription. 
Althoxigh he supported the Dissenters in their peti- 
tion for the indulgence which lie had refused to the 
clergy of the Established Church, in this, as he was not 
guilty of it, so he was not reproached with inconsis- 
tency. At the same time he promoted, and against 
the wish of several, the clause that gave the Dissent- 
ing teachers another subscription in the place of th.".t 
which was then taken away. Neither at that time 
was the reproach of inconsistency brought against 
him. People could then distinguish between a dif- 
ference in conduct under a variation of circum- 
stances and an inconsistency in principle. It was 
not then thought necessary to be freed of him as 
of an incumbrance. 

These instances, a few among many, are produced 
as an answer to the insinuation of his having pur- 
sued high popular courses which in his late book 
he has aljandoned. Perhaps in his whole life he 
has never omitted a fair occasion, with whatever 
risk to him of obloquy as an uidividual, with what- 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



97 



eTer detriment to his interest as a member of opposi- 
tion, to assert the very same doctrines which appear 
m that book. He told the House, upon an important 
occasion, and pretty early in liis service, that, « boinir 
warned by the ill effect of a contrary procedure in 
great examples, he had taken his ideas of liberty very 
low in order that they should stick to him and that 
he might stick to them to the end of hid life." 

At popular elections the most rigorous casuists will 
remit a little of their severity. They will allow to a 
candidate some unqualified effusions in favor of free- 
dom, without binding him to adhere to them in their 
utmost extent. But Mr. Burke put a more strict rule , . 
upon himself than most moralists would put upon 
others. At his first offering himself to Bristol, where 
he was almost sure he should not obtain, on thnf. or 
any occasion, a single Tory vote, (in fact, he did ob- 
tain but one,) and rested wholly on the Whig inter- 
est, he thought himself bound to tell to the electors, 
both before and after his election, exactly what a 
representative they had to expect in him. 

" Tlie digtinguishing part of our Constitution," he 
said, "is its liberty. To preserve that liberty invio- 
late IS the pecniUar duty and proper trust of a mem- 
ber of the House of Commons. But the liberty, the 
ovly liberty, I mean is a liberty connected with order; 
and that not only exists with order and virtue, but 
cannot exist at all without them. It inheres in good 
and steady government, as in its mbstance and vital 
pnnciple." 

The liberty to which Mr. Burke declared himself 
attached is not French liberty. That liberty is noth- 
ing but the rein given to vice and confusion. Mr. 
Burke was then, as he was at the writing of his Re- 

VOL. IT. 7 



98 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



^L 



. 



flections, awfully impressed with the difficulties aris- 
ing from the complex state of our Constitution and 
our empire, and that it might require in different 
emergencies different sorts of exertions, and the 
succ ssive call upon all the various principles which 
uphold and justify it. This will appear fVom what 
he said at the close of the poll. 

"To be a good memljr of Parliament is, let me 
tell you, no easy task, — especially at this time, when 
there is so strong a disposition to run into the peril- 
ous extremes of servile compliance or wild popular- 
ity. To unite circumspection with vigor is absolutely 
necessary, but it is extremely difficult. "We are now 
members for a rich commercial city ; this city, how- 
ever, is but a part of a rich commercial nation, the 
interests of which are various, multiform, and intri- 
cate. We are members for that great nation, which, 
however, is itself but part of a great empire, extend- 
ed by our virtue and our fortune to the farthest 
limits of the East and of the West. All these wide- 
spread interests must be considered, — must be com- 
pared, — must be reconciled, if possible. We a*. ^ 
members for a free country ; and surely we all 
know that the machine of a free constitution is no 
simple thing, but as intricate and as delicate as it is 
valuable. We are members in a great and ancient 
MONARCHY ; and we must preserve religiously the true, 
legal rights of the sovereign, which form the keystone 
that binds together the nolle and well-constructed arch 
of our empire and our Constitution. A constitution 
V made up nt^alar ^ced po wers must ever be a critical 
thing. As such I mean to touch that part of it 
which comes within my reach." 

Ill this manner Mr. Burke spoke to his constitu- 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



99 



9nt8 seventeen years ago. Ho spoke, not like a par- 
tisan of one particular member of our Constitution, 
but as a person strongly, and on principle, attached 
to them all. He thought these great and essential 
members ought to be preserved, and preserved each 
in its place, — and that the monarchy ought not only 
to be secured in its peculiar existence, but in its pre- 
eminence too, as the presiding and connecting princi- 
ple of the whole. Let it be considered whether the 
language of his book, printed in 1790, differs from 
his speech at Bristol in 1774. 

With equal justice his opinions on the American 
war are introduced, as if in his late work lie had 
belied his conduct and opinions in the debates which 
arose upon that great event. On the American war 
he never had any opinions which he has seen occa- 
sion to retract, or which he has ever retracted. He, 
indeed, differs essentially from Mr. Fox as to the 
cause of that war. Mr. Fox has been pleased to 
say that the Americans rebelled " because they 
thought they had not enjoyed liberty enough." This 
cause of the war, /rom him, I have heard of for the 
first time. It is true that those who stimulated the 
nation to that measure did frequently urge this 
topic. They contended that the Americans had 
from the beginning aimed at independence, — that 
from the beginning they meant wliolly to throw off 
the authority of the crown, and to break tlicir con- 
nection with the parent country. This Mr. Burke t 
never believed. When he moved his second concil- 
iatory proposition, in the year 1776, he entered into 
the discussion of this point at very great length, 
and, from nine several heads of presumption, en- 
deavored to prove the charge upon tliat people not 
to be true. 



100 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 






If the prinoiples of all be has said and wrote on the 
occasion be viewed with common temper, the gentle- 
men of the party will perceive, that, on a supposition 
that the Americans had rebelled merely in order to 
enlarge their liberty, Mr. Burke would have thought 
very differently of the American cause. What might 
have been in the secret thoughts of some of their 
leader? it is impossible to say. As far as a man so 
locked up as Dr. Franklin could be expected to com- 
municate his ideas, I believe he opened them to Mr. 
Burke. It was, I think, the very day before he set 
out for America that a very long conversation passed 
between them, and with a greater air of openne s on 
the Doctor's side than Mr. Burke had observed in 
him before. In this discourse Dr. Franklin lament* 
ed, and with apparent sincerity, the separation which 
ho feared was inevitable between Great Britain and 
her colonies. He certainly spoke of it as an event 
which gave him the greatest concern. America, he 
said, would never again see such happy days as she 
had passed under the protection of England. He ob- 
served, that ours was the only instance of a great em- 
pire in which the most distant parts and members 
had been as well governed as the metropolis and its 
vicinage, but that the Americans were going to lose 
the means which secured to them this rare and pre- 
cious advantage. The question with them was not, 
whether they were to remain as they had been before 
the troubles, — for better, he allowed, they could not 
hope to be, — but whether they were to give up so 
happy c siturcion without a struggle. Mr. Burke 
had several otiier conversations with him about that 
time, in none of which, soured and exasperated as his 
mind certainly was, did he discover any other wish 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



101 



in favor of America than for a security to ita an- 
cient condition. Mr. Burke's conversation witli other 
Americans was large, indeed, and his inquiries exten- 
sive and diligent. Trusting to the result of all these 
means of information, but trusting much more in the 
public presumptive indications I have just referred 
to, and to the reiterated solemn declarations of their 
Assemblies, he always firmly believed that they were j, 
purely on the defensive in that rebellion. He consid- 
ered the Americans as standing at that time, and in 
that controversy, in the same relation to England as 
F igland did to King James the Second in 1688. He 
believed that they had taken up arms from one mo- 
tive only : that is, our attempting to tax them with- 
out their consent, — to tax them for the purposes 
of maintaining civil and military establishments. If 
this attempt of ours could have been practically es- 
tablished, he thought, with them, that their Assem- 
blies would become totally useless, — tliat, under the 
system of policy which was then pursued, the Amer- 
icans could have no sort of security for their laws or 
liberties, or for any part of them, — and that the verv 
circumstance of our freedom would have aug' 
the weight of their slavery. 

Considering the Americans on that defensive loot- 
ing, he thought Great Britain ought instantly to have, 
closed with them by the repeal of the taxing act. 
He was of opinion that our general rights over that 
country would have been preserved by this timely 
concession.* When, instead of this, a Boston Port 
Bai, a Massachusetts Charter Bill, a Fishery Bill, an 
Intercourse Bill, I know not how many hostile bills, 
rushed out like so many tempests from all points of 

• See his apeecL on American Taxation, the 19th of April, 1774. 



102 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



M 



j ■. "'"» ' 



r:i t 



*^ 



tho compBis, and were accompaniov.1 first with great 
fleets and armies of English, and followed afterwards 
with great bodies of foreign troops, he thought that 
their cause grew daily better, because daily more do- 
fousivo, — and that ours, because daily more offensive, 
grew daily worse. He Jiorefore, in two motions, in 
two successive years, proposed in Parliament many 
concessions beyond what he had reason to think in 
the beginning of the troubles would ever be seriously 
demanded. 

So circumstanced, he certainly never could and 
never did wish the colonists to be subdued by arms. 
He was fully persuaded, that, if such should be the 
event, they must be held in that subdued state by a 
great body of standing forces, and perhaps of foreign 
forces. Ho was strongly of opinion that such armies, 
first victorious over Englishmen, in a conflict for Eng- 
lish constitutional rights and privileges, and after- 
wards habituated (though in America) to keep an 
English people in a state of abject subjection, would 
prove fatal in the end to the liberties of England 
itself; that in the mean time this military system 
would lie as an oppressive burden upon the national 
finances; that " would constantly breed and feed 
new discussions, full of heat and acrimony, leading 
possibly to a new series of wars ; and that foreign 
powers, wliilst we continued in a state at once bur- 
dened and distracted, must at length obtain a decided 
superiority over us. On what part of his late publi- 
cation, or on what expression that might have escaped 
him in that work, is any man authorized to charge 
Mr. Burke with a contradiction to the line of his 
conduct and to the current of his doctrines on the 
American war? The pamphlet is in the hands of 



TO THE OLD WHI08. 



108 



hit ttocusers: let them point out the passage, if 
they can. 

Indeed, the author has been well sifted and scru- 
tinized bj his friends. He is oven called to an 
account for every jocular and light expression. A 
ludicrous picture which ho made with regard to a 
passage in the speech of a late minister* has been 
brought up against him. Tliat passage contained a 
lamentation for the loss of monarchy to tlic Ameri- 
cans, after they had separated from Great Britain. 
He thought it to be unseasonable, ill-judged, and ill- 
sorted with the circumstances of all the parties. Mr. 
Burke, it seems, considered it ridicules to lamciit 
the loss of some monarch or other to a relwl people, 
at the moment they had forever quitted their alle- 
giance to thc'rs and our sovereign, at tha time when 
they had broken off all connection with this nation 
and had allied themselves with its enemies. He cer- 
tainly must have thought it open to ridicu'e ; and 
now that it is recalled to his memory, ( ho had, I be- 
lieve, wholly forgotten the circumstance,) he recol- 
lects that he did treat it with some levity. But is it 
a fair inference from a jest on this unseasonable lam- 
entation, that he was then an enemy to monarchy, 
either in this or in any other country ? The con- 
trary perhaps ought to be inferred, — if anything at 
all can be argued from pleasantries good or bad Is 
it for this reason, or for anything he has said or done 
relative to the American war, that he is to enter in- 
to an alliance offensive and defenoive with every re- 
bellion, in every couniry, under every circumstance, 
and raised upon whatever pretence? Is it because 
he did not wish the Americans to be subdued by 

* Lord Lansdowne. 



104 



APPEAL PBOM THE NEW 



i 



\ 



arms, that he must be inconsistent with himself, if 
he reprobates the conduct of those societies in Eng- 
land, who, alleging no one act of tyranny or oppres- 
sion, and complaining of no hostile attempt against 
our ancient laws, rights, and usages, are now endeav- 
oring to work the destruction of the crown of this 
kingdom, and the whole of its Constitution ? Is he 
obliged, from the concessions he wished to be made 
to the colonies, to keep any terms with those clubs 
and federations who hold out to us, as a pattern for 
imitation, the proceedings in France, in which a king, 
who had voluntarily and formally divested himself of 
the right of taxation, and of all other species of arbi- 
trary power, has been dethroned ? Is it because Mr. 
Burke wished to have America rather conciliated 
than vanquished, that he must wish well to the army 
of republics which are set up in France, — a country 
wherein not the people, but the monarch, was wholly 
on the defensive, (a poor, indeed, and feeble defen- 
sive,) to presei-vo some fragments of the royal author- 
ity against a determined and desperate body of con- 
spirators, whose object it was, with whatever certainty 
of crimes, with whatever hazard of war, and every 
other species of calamity, to annihilate tlie whole of 
that authority, to level all ranks, orders, and distinc- 
tions in the state, and utterly to destroy property, 
not more by their acts than in their principles ? 

Mr. Burke has been also reproached with an in- 
c. .stency between his late writings and his former 
conduct, because he had proposed in ParUament sev- 
eral economical, leading to several constitutional re- 
forms. Mr. Burke thought, with a majority of the 
House of Commons, that the influence of the crown 
at one time was too great; but after his Majesty 



m 



TO THE OLD WHI08. 



105 






had, by a gracious message, and several subsequent 
acts of Parliament, reduced it to a standard which 
satisfied Mr. Fox liimself, and, apparently at least, 
contented whoever wished to go farthest in that re- 
duction, is Mr. Burke to allow that it would be right 
for us to proceed to indefinite lengths iipon that sub- 
ject ? that it would therefore be justifiable in a peo- 
ple owing allegiance to a monarchy, and professing 
to maintain it, not to reduce, but wholly to take away 
all prerogative and all influence whatsoever? Must 
his having made, in virtue of a plan of economical 
regulation, a reduction of the influence of the crown 
compel him to allow that it would be right in the 
French or in us to bring a king to so abject a state 
as in function not to be so respectable as an under- 
shoriiT, but in person not to differ from the condition 
of a mere prisoner ? One would think that such a 
thing as a medium had never been heard of in the 
moral world. 

This mode of arguing from your having done any 
thing in a certain line to the necessity of doing every 
thing has political consequences of other moment 
than those of a logical fallacy. If no man can pro- 
pose any diminution or modification of an invidious 
or dangerous power or influence in government, with- 
out entitling friends turned into adversaries to argue 
him into the destruction of all prerogative, and to 
a spoliation of the whole patronage of royalty, I do 
not know what can more effectually deter persons 
of sober minds from engaging in any reform, nor 
how the worst enemies to the liberty of the subject 
could contrive any method more fit to bring all cor- 
rectives on the power of the crown into suspicion 
and disrepute. 



i 1 



t; 



f 



106 



APPEAL FEOM THE NEW 



If, say hia accusers, the dread of too great influ- 
ence in the crown of Great Britain could justify the 
degree of reform which he adopted, the dread of a 
return under the despotism of a monarchy miglit jus- 
tify the people of France in gohig much further, 
and reducing monarchy to its present nothing. — Mr. 
Burke does not allow that a sufficient argument ad 
hominem is inferable from these premises. If the 
horror of the excesses of an absolute monarchy fur- 
nishes a reason for abolishing it, no monarcl. • once 
absolute (all have been so at one period or other) 
could ever be limited. It must be destroyed ; other- 
wise no way could be found to quiet the fears of 
those who were formerly subjected to that sway. 
But the principle of Mr. Burke's proceeding ought 
to lead him to a very different conclusion, — to this 
conclusion, — that a monarchy is a thing perfectly 
susceptible of reform, perfectly susceptible of a bal- 
ance of power, and that, when reformed and bal- 
anced, for a great country it is the best of all govern- 
ments. The example of our country might have led 
France, as it has led him, to perceive that monarchy 
js^not only reconcilable to liberty, but that it may¥e 
rendered a great and stable security to its perpetual 
enjoyment. No correctives which he proposed to the 
power of the crown could lead him to approve of a 
plan of a republic (if so it may be reputed) whicli has 
no correctives, and which he believes to be incapable 
of admitting any. No principle of Mr. Burke's con- 
duct or writings obliged him from consistency to be- 
come an advocate for an exchange of mischiefs ; no 
principle of his could compel him to justify tlie setting 
up in the place of a mitigated monarchy a new and far 
more despotic power, under which there is no trace 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



107 



of liberty, except what appears ia confusion and in 
crime. 

Mr. Burke does not admit that the faction predom- 
inant in Prance have abolished their monarchy, and 
the orders of their state, from any dread of arbitrary 
power that lay heavy on the minds of the people. 
It is not very long since he has been in that country. 
Whilst there he conversed with many descriptions of 
its inhabitants. A few persons of rank did, he allows, 
discover strong and manifest tokens of such a spirit 
of liberty as might be expected one day to break all 
bounds. Such gentlemen have since had more reason 
to repent of their want of foresight than I hope any 
of the same class will ever have in this country. But 
this spirit was far from general, even amongst the gen- 
tlemen. As to the lower orders, and those little above 
tliem, in whose name the present powers domineer, 
they were far from discovering any sort of dissatisfac- 
tion with the power and prerogatives of the crown. 
That vain people were rather proud of them: they 
rather despised the English for not having a monarch 
possessed of such high and perfect authority. They 
had felt nothing from lettrea de cachet. Tlie Bastile 
could inspire no horrors into them. This was a treat 
for their betters. It was by art and impulse, it was 
by the sinister use made of a season of scarcity, it 
was under an infinitely diversified succession of wick- 
ed pretenc wholly foreign to the question of mon- 
archy or arisuocracy, that this light people were in- 
spired with their present spirit of levelling. Their 
old vanity was led by art to take another turn : it was 
dazzled and seduced by military liveries, cockades, 
and epaulets, until the French populace was led to 
become the willing, but still the proud and thought- 



108 



APPEAL fBOM THE NEW 



*i • 



? 



less, instrument and victim of another domination. 
Neither did that people despise or hate or fear their 
nobility : on the contrary, they valued themselves on 
the generous qualities which distinguished the chiefs 
of their nation. 

So far as to the attack on Mr. Burke in conse- 
quence of his reforms. 

To show that he has in his last publication aban- 
doned those principles of liberty which have given 
energy to his youth, and in spite of his censors will 
afford repose and consolation to his declining age 
those who have thought proper in Parliament to de-' 
Clare against his book ought to have produced some- 
t mg m it which directly or indirectly militates with 
any rational plan of free government. It is something 
extraordinary, that they whose memories have so well 
served them with regard to light and ludicrous ex- 
pressions, wlp-ch years had consigned to oblivion, 
should not have been able to quote a single passage 
ma piece so lately published, which contradicts any- 
thing he has formerly ever said in a style either ludi- 
crous or serious. They quote his former speeches 
and his former votes, but not one syllable from tlie 
book. It is only by a collation oi the one with the 
other that the alleged inconsistency can be established 
But as they are unable to cite any such contradictory 
passage, so neither can they show anything in the 
general tendency and spirit of the whole work unfa- 
vorable to a rational and generous spirit of liberty • 
unless a warm opposition to the spirit of levelling to 
the spirit of impiety, to the spirit of proscription, pllm- 
der, murder, and cannibaUsm, be adverse to the true 
principles of freedom. 
The author of that book is supposed to have passed 



i&Ml^.l 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



109 



from extreme to extreme; but he has always kept 
himself in a medium. This charge is not so wonder- 
ful. It is in the nature of things, that they who are in 
the centre of a circle should appear directly opposed 
to those who view them from any part of the circum- 
ference. In that middle point, however, he will still 
remain, though he may hear people who themselves 
run beyond Aurora and the Ganges cry out that he 
is t the extremity of the West. 

In the same debate Mr. Burke was represented by 
Mr. Fox as arguing in a manner which implied that 
the British Constitution could not be defended, hr hy 
abusing all republics ancient and modern. I 1 

nothing to give the least ground for such a cei. o. 
He never abused all repiiblics. He has never pro- 
fessed himself a friend or an enemy to repu blics or to 
monarchies in the abstract. He thought that the cir-' , 
cumstances and habits of every country, which it ist*y' 
always perilous and productive of the greatest calami- ; 
ties to force, are to decide upon the form of its govern- ! 
ment. There is nothing in his nature, his temper, or 
his faculties which should make liim an enemy to any 
republic, modern or ancient. Far from it. Hb has 
studied the for . spirit of republics very v,arly in 

life ; he has s. . them wHh ,• -".jat attention, and 

with a mind unaisturbcd by affection or prejudice. 
He is, indeed, convinced that the science of govern- 
ment would be poorly cultivated without that study. 
But the result in his mind from that investigation has 
been and is, that neither England nor France, with- 
out infinite detriment to them, as well in the event as 
m the experiment, could be brought into a republi- 
can form ; but that everything republicim which can 
be introduced with safety into either of them must be 



*y 




Il it'i 



• -f 



i 



I 



110 

built 



APPEAL PROM THE NEW 



upon a monarchy,— built upon a real, not a 
nominal monarchy, as its essential basis ; that all such 
mstitutions, whether aristocratic or democratic, must 
originate from their crown, and in all their proceed- 
mgs must refer to it ; that by the energy of that main- 
spnng alone those re j.ublican parts must be set in ac- 
tion, and from thence must derive their whole legal 
effect, (as amongst us they actually do,) or the whole 
> will fall into confusion. These republican members 
hp.ve no other point but the crown in which they can 
j-ossibly unite. 

This is the opinion expressed in Mr. Burke's book 
He has never varied in that opinion since he came to 
years of discretion. But surely, if at any time of his 
life he had entertained other notions, (which, how- 
ever, he has never held or professed to hold,) the 
horrible calamities brought upon a great people by 
the wild attempt to force their country into a repub- 
lic might be more than sufficient to undeceive his 
understanding, and to free it forever from such de- 
structive fancies. He is certain that many, even in 
France, have been made sick of their theories by their 
very success in realizing them. 

To fortify the imputation of a desertion from his 
principles, his constant attempts to reform abuses 
have been brought forward. It is true, it has been 
the business of his strength to reform abuses in gov- 
ernment, and his last feeble efforts are employed in 
a struggle against them. Politically he has lived in 
that element ; politically he will die in it. Before he 
departs, I will admit for him that he deserves to have 
all his titles of merit brought forth, as they have been, 
lor grounds of condemnation, if one v. d justifving 
or supporting abuses of any sort is to be found in 



TO THE OLD* WmOS. 



Ill 



that book which has kindled so much indignation in 
the mind of a great man. On the contrary, it spares 
no existing abuse. Its very purpose is to make war 
with abuses, — not, indeed, to make war with the dead, 
but with those which live, and flourish, and reign. 

The purpose for which the abuses of government 
are brought into view forms a very material consid- 
eration in the mode of treating them. The com- 
plaints of a friend are things very different from the 
invectives of an enemy. The charge of abuses on the 
late monarchy of France was not intended to lead to 
its reformation, biit to justify its destruction. They 
who have raked into all history for the faults of kings, 
and who have aggravated every fault they have found, 
have acted consistently, because they acted as ene- 
mies. No man can be a friend to a tempered monar- 
chy who bears a decided hatred to monarchy itself. 
He, who, at the present time, is favorable or even 
fair to that system, must act towards it as towards a 
friend with frailties who is under the prosecution of 
implacable foes. I think it a duty, in that case, not 
to inflame the public mind against the obnoxious 
person by any exaggeration of his faults. It is our 
duty rather to palliate his errors and defects, or to 
cast them into the shade, and industriously to bring 
forward any good qualities that he may happen to 
possess. But when the man is to be amended, and 
by amendment to be preserved, then the line of duty 
takes another direction. When his safety is effectu- 
ally provided for, it then becomes the office of a 
friend to urge his faults and vices with all the energy 
of enlightened affection, to paint them in their most 
vivid colors, and to bring the moral patient to a 
better habit. Thus I think with regard to individu- 



112 



APPEAL PlliM THE NEW 



als ; thus I think with regard to ancient and respected 
governments and orders of men. A spirit of reforma- 
tion is never more consistent with itself tlian when 
it refuses to be rendered the means of destruction. 

I suppose that enough is said upon these heads of 
accusation. One more I had nearly forgotten, but I 
shall soon dispatch it. The author of the Reflec- 
tions, in the opening of the last Parliament, entered 
on the journals of the House of Commons a motion 
for a remonstrance to the crown, which is substan- 
tially a defence of the preceding Parliament, that had 
been dissolved under displeasure. It is a defence of 
Mr. Fox. It is a defence of tho Whigs. By what 
connection of argument, by what association of ideas, 
this apology for Mr. Fox and his party is by him and 
them brought to criminate his and their apologist, I 
cannot easily divine. It is true that Mr. Burke re- 
ceived no previous encouragement from Mr. Fox, 
nor any the least countenance or support, at the time' 
when the motion was made, from him or from any 
gentleman of the party, — one only excepted, from 
whose friendship, on that and on other occasions, he 
derives an honor to which he must be duU indeed to 
be insensible.* If that remonstrance, therefore, was 
a faxse or feeble defence of the measures of the party, 
they were in no wise affected by it. It stands on the 
journals. This secures to it a permanence which the 
author cannot expect to any other work of his. Let 
it speak for itself to the present age and to all pos- 
terity. The party had no concern in it ; and it can 
^.ever be quoted against them. But in the late de- 
bate It was produced, not to clear the party from 
an improper defence in which they had no share, but 

•Mr. Windham. 



r 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



113 



for the kind purpose of insinuating an inconsistency 
between the principles of Mr. Burke's defence of the 
dissolved Parliament and those on which he proceed- 
ed in his late Rp"ections on France. 

It requires groat ingenuity to make out such a 
parallel between the two cases as to found a charge 
of inconsistency in the j^rmciples apsumed in arguing 
the one and the other, Wliat relation had Mr. Fox's 
India Bill to the Constitution of France ? What re- 
lation had that Constitution to the question of right 
in an House of Commons to give or to withhold its 
confidence from ministers, and to state that opinion 
to the crown ? What had this discussion to do with 
Mr. Burke's idea in 1784 of the ill consequences 
which must in the end arise to the crown from set- 
ting up the commons at large as an opposite interest 
to the commons in Parliament ? What has this dis- 
cussion to do with a recorded warning to the people 
of their rashly forming a precipitate judgment against 
their representatives ? What had Mr. Burke's opin- 
ion of the danger of introducing new theoretic lan- 
guage, unknown to the records of the kingdom, and 
calculated to excite vexatious questions, into a Par- 
liamentary proceeding, to do with the French Assem- 
bly, which defies all precedent, and places its wliole 
glory in realizing what had been thought the most 
visionary theories ? ' What had this in common with 
the abolition of the French monarchy, or with the 
principles upon which the English Revolution was 
justified, — a Revolution in which Parliament, in all 
its acts and all its declarations, religiously adheres to 
*' the form of sound words," witliout excluding from 
private discussions such terms of art as may serve to 
conduct an inquii-y for which none but private per- 

voi. IV. 8 



ft 



114 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



Si 



h. 



sons are responsible? These were the topics of Mr. 
Burke's proposed remonstrance ; all of which topics 
STippose the existence and mutual relation of our 
three estates, — as well as the relation of the East 
India Company to the crown, to Parliament, and to 
the peculiar laws, rights, and usages of the people of 
Hmdostan. What reference, I say, had these topics 
to the Constitution of France, in which there is no 
king, no lords, no commons, no India Company to 
injure or support, no Indian empire to govern or op- 
press ? What relation had all or any of these, or any 
question which could arise between the prerogatives 
of the crown and the privileges of Pariiament, with 
the censure of those factious persons in Great Britain 
whom Mr. Burke states to be engaged, not in favor of 
privilege against prerogative, or of prerogative against 
privilege, but in an open attempt against our crown 
and our Parliament, against our Constitution in 
Church and State, against all the parts and orders 
which compose the one and the other? 

No persons were more fiercely active against Mr. 
Fox, and against the measures of the House of Com- 
mons dissolved in 1784, which Mr. Burke defends in 
that remonstrance, than several of those revolution- 
makers whom Mr. Burke condemns alike in his re- 
monstrance and in his book. These revolutionists 
mdeed, may be well thought to vary in their conduct. 
He IS, however, far from accusing them, in this vari- 
ation, of the smallest degree of inconsistency. He is 
persuaded that they are totallv indifferent at which 
end they begin tlie demolition of the Constitution. 
Some are for commencing their operations with the 
destruction of the civil powers, in order the better 
to pull down the ecclesiastical, — some wish to begin 



m 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



115 



with the ecclesiastical, in order to facilitate the ruin 
of the civil ; some would destroy the House of Com- 
mons through the crown, some the crown through 
the House of Commons, and some would overturn 
botli the one and the other through what they call 
the people. But I believe that this injured writer will 
think it not at all inconsistent with his present duty 
or with his forme life strenuously to oppose all the 
various partisans of destruction, let tlicm begin where 
or when or how they will. No man would set his 
face more determinedly arjainst those who should 
attempt to deprive them, or any description of men, 
of the rights they possess. No man would be more 
steady in preventing them from abusing those riglits 
to the destruction of that happy order under wliicli 
they enjoy them. As to their title to anytliing fur- 
ther, it ough' to be grounded on the proof they give 
of the safety with whicli power may be trusted in 
their hands. When they attempt without disguise, 
not to win it from our affections, but to force it from 
our fears, they show, in tlie charac.or of their means 
of obtaining it, the use they would make of their do- 
minion. That writer is too well read in men not to 
know how often the desire and design of a tyrannic 
dominati( a lurks yy the claim of an extravagant lib- 
erty. Perhaps i., the beginning it ahva7/s displays 
itself in that manner. No man has ever affected 
power which he did not hope from the favor of the 
existing government in any otlier mode. 

The attacks on the author's consistency relative to 
France are (however grievous they may be to his 
feelings) in a great degree external to him and to 
us, and comparatively of little moment to the people 



. 



116 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



i 



of England. The substantial charge upon him is 
concerning his doctrines relative to the ReTolution 
of 1688. Here it is that they who speak in tlie 
name of the party have thought proper to censure 
him the most loudlj and with the greatest asperity. 
Here they fasten, and, if they are right in their fact, 
with sufficient judgment in their selection. If ha ' •i' 
guilty in this point, he is equally blamablo, whether 
lie is consistent or not. If he endeavors to delude 
his countrymen by a false representation of the spirit 
of that leading event, and of the true nature and ter>- 
'"•e of the government formed in consequence of it, 
""ply responsible, he is an enemy to the free 
n of the kingdom. But he is not guilty 
in .. I maintain that in his Reflections he 

has stateu iiin p.ftvn lutiou and the Settlement upon 
t heir true princip lp" of le g^l reg snn anHjonsti tutlona l 
policy^ "" ' 

His authorities are the acts and declarations of 
Parliament, given in their proper words. So far as 
these go, nothing can be added to what he has quot- 
ed. The question is, whether he has understood 
them rightly. I think they speak plain enough. 
But we must now see whether he proceeds with other 
authority than his own constructions, and, if he does, 
on what sort of authority he proceeds. In this part, 
his defence will not be made by argument, but by 
wager of law. He takes his compurgators, his vouch- 
ers, his guaranties, along with him. I know that 
he will not be satisfied with a justification proceeding 
on general reasons of policy. He must be defended 
on party grounds, too, or his cause is not so tenable 
as I wish it to appear. It must be made out for him 
not only that in his coustruetioa of these public acts 



TO THE OLD WHI03. 



117 



and monuments he conforms himself to the rules of 
fair, legal, and logical interpretation, but it must be 
proved that his construction is in perfect harmony *~f 
with that of the ancient Whigs, to whom, against j w^ 
the sentence of the modern, on his part, I here Ji 
appeal. 

This July it will ho twenty-six years* since ho 
became connected with a man wlioso moiuory will 
ever be precious to Englislimen of all parties, as long 
as the ideas of honor and virtue, public and private, 
are understood and cherished in this nation. Tliat 
memoi/ will be kept alive with particular veneration 
by all rational and honorable Whigs. Mr. Burke 
entered into a connection with that party througli 
that man, at an asre far from raw and immature, — at 
those years when uion are all they are ever likely to 
become, — when he was in the prime and vigor of his 
life, — when the powers of his understanding, accord- 
ing to their standard, were at the best, his memory 
exercised, his judgment formed, and his reading 
much fresher in the recollection and much readier 
in the application than now it is. He was at tliat 
time as likely as most men to know what were Whig 
and what were Tory principles. He was in a situa- 
tion to discern what sort of Whig principles they 
entertained with whom it was his wis-h to form an 
eternal connection. Foolish he would have been at 
that time of life (more foolish than any man who 
undertakes a public trust would be thought) to ad- 
here to a cause which I 3, amongst all those who 
were engaged in it, had the least sanguine hopes of 
as a road to power. 

There are who remember, that, on the removal of 

• July 17th. 1765. 




118 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



I Si 



the Whigs in the year 1766, he was as free to choose 
another connection as any man in tlie kingdom. To 
put himself out of the way of the negotiations which 
were then carrying on very eagerly and through 
many channels with the Earl of Chatham, he went 
to Ireland very soon after the change of ministry, 
and did not return until the meeting of Parliament. 
He was at that time free from anything which looked 
like an engagement. He was further free at the de- 
sire of his friends ; for, the very day of his return, 
the Marquis of Rockingham wished him to accept an 
employment under the new system. He believes ho 
might have had such a situation ; but again he cheer- 
fully took his fate with tlie party. 

It would be a serious imputation upon the pru- 
dence of my friend, to have made even such trivial 
sacrifices as it was in his power to make for princi- 
ples which he did not truly embrace or did not per- 
fectly understand. In either case the folly would 
have been great. The question now is, whether, 
when he first practically professed Whig principles, 
he understood what principles ho professed, and 
whether in his book he has faithfully expressed 
them. 

When he entered into the Whig party, he did not 
conceive that they pretended to any discoveries. 
They did not affect to be better Whigs than those 
were who lived in the days in wliich principle was 
put to the test. Some of the Wliigs of those days 
were then living. They were what the Whigs had 
been at the Revolution, — what they had been during 
the reign of Queen Anne, — what they had been at 
the accession of the present royal family. 
What they were at those periods is to be seen. It 



.M 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



119 



rarely happens to a party to have the opportunity of 
a clear, authentic, recorded declaration of their polit- 
ical tenets upon the subject of a great constitutional 
event like that of the Revolution. The Whigs had 
that opportunity, — or to speak more properly, they 
made it. The impeachment of Dr. Saclievei-ell was 
undertaken by a TThig ministry and a Wliig House 
of Commons, and carried on before a prevalent and 
steady majority of Whig peers. It was carried on for 
the express purpose of stating the true grounds and 
principles of the Revolution, — what the Commons 
emphatically called their foundation. It was carried 
on for the purpose of condemning the principles on 
wliich the Revolution was first opposed and after- 
wards calumniated, in order, by a juridical sentence 
of the highest authority, to confirm and fix Whig 
principles, as they had operated both in the resist- 
ance to King James and in the subsequent settle- 
ment, and to fix them in the extent and with the 
limitations with which it was meant they should be 
understood by posterity. The ministers and mana- 
gers for the Commons were persons who had, many 
of them, an active share in the Revolution. Most 
of them had seen it at an age capable of reflection. 
The grand event, and all the discussions which led 
to it and followed it, were then alive in the memory 
and conversation of all men. The managers for the 
Commons must be supposed to have spoken on that 
subject the prevalent ideas of the leading party in 
the Commons, and of the Whig ministry. Undoubt- 
edly they spoke also their own private opinions ; and 
the private opinions of such men are not without 
weight. They were not umbratiles doctores, men who 
had studied a free Constitution only in its anatomy 



120 



APPEAL, FROM THE NEW 



m' 




and upon lead systems. Tliey knew it alive and in 
action. 

In this proceeding the Whig principles, as applied 
to the Revolution and Settlement, are to be found, 
or they are to '. ^ found nowhere. I wish the Whig 
readers of this V, peal first to turn to Mr. Burke's Re- 
flections, from a., 20 to pn -e 50,* and then to attend 
to the following extracts from the trial of Dr. Sachev- 
erell. After this, they will consider two things: first, 
whether the doctrine in Mr. Burke's Reflections be 
consonant to that of the Whigs of that period ; and, 
secondly, whether they choose to abandon the princi- 
ples wliich belonged to the progenitors of some of 
them, and to the predecessors of them all, and to 
learn new principles of Whiggism, imported from 
France, and disseminated in this country from Dis- 
senting pulpits, from Federation societies, and from 
the pamphlets, which (as containing the political 
creed of those synods) are industriously circulated 
in all parts of the two kingdoms. This is their af- 
fair, and they will make their option. 

These new Whigs hold that the sovereignty, wheth- 
er exercised by one or many, did not only originate 
from the people, (a position not denied nor worth 
denying or assenting to,) but that in the people the 
same sovereignty constantly and unalienably resides ; 
that the people may lawfully depose kings, not only 
for misconduct, but without any misconduct at all ; 
that they may set up any new fashion of government 
for themselves, or continue without any government, 
at their pleasure ; that the people are essentially their 
own rule, and their will the measure of their conduct ; 
that the tenure of magistracy is not a proper subject 

• Works, Vol. m. pp. 251 -276, present edition. 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



121 



of contract, because magistrates have duties, but no 
rights.; and that, if a contract de facto is made with 
them in one age, allowing that it binds at all, it only 
binds those who are immediately concerned in it, but 
does not pass to posterity. These doctrines concern- 
ing the people (a term which they are far from accu- 
rately defining, but by whif h, from many circumstan- 
ces, it is plain enougl mean their own faction, 
if they should grow, ' / arming, by treachery, 
or violence, into the p. availing force) tend, in my 
opinion, to the utter subversion, not only of all gov- 
ernment, in all modes, and to all stable securities to 
rational freedom, but to all the rules and principles 
of morality itself 

I assert that the ancient Whigs held doctrines to- 
tally different from those I have last mentioned. I 
assert, that the foundations laid down by the Com- 
mons, on the trial of Dr. Sacheverell, for justifying the 
Revolution of 1688, are the very same laid down in 
Mr. Burke's Reflections, — that is to say, a breach 
of the original contract, implied and expressed in the 
Constitution of this country, as a scheme of govern- 
ment fundamentally and inviolably fixed in King, 
Lords, and Commons ; — that the fundamental subvert 
sion of this ancient Constitution, by one of its parts, 
having been attempted, and in effect accomplished, 
justified the Revolution ; — tu it was justified only 
upon the necessity of the case, as the only means left 
for the recovery of that ancient Constitution formed 
by the original contract of the British state, as well as 
for the future preservation of the satne goveriuneut. 
These are the points to 'ie proved. -^ 

A general opening to the charge against Dr. Sach- 
everell was made by the attorney-general, Sir John 



v^ 



122 



APPEAL FEOU THE NEW 



' 



Montague ; but as there is nothing in that opening 
en-eech which tends very accurately to settle the prin- 
ciple upon which the Whigs proceeded in the prose- 
cution, (the plan of the speech not requiring it,) I 
proceed to that of Mr. Lechmore, the manager, who 
spoke next after him. The following are extracts, 
given, not in the exact order in which they stand ui 
the printed trial, but in that which is thought most 
fit to bring the ideas of the Whig Commons distinctly 
under our view. 

Mr. Lechmere.* 

"It becomes an indispensable duty upon us, who 
appear in the name and on the behalf of all the com- 
mons of Great Britain, not only to demand your Lord- 
ships' justice on such a criminal, [ Dr. Sacheverell,] 
but clearly and openly to assert our foundations." 

" The nature of our Coustitucion is that of a limiUd 
monarchy, wherein tlie supreme power is communi 
Gated and divided between Queen, Lords, and Com- 
Thatthe ^ous, thougli the executive power and ad- 
(SStitatiT' "li'iistration be wholly in the crown. The 
Imply and tcrms of such a Constitution do not only 

express an ^ .' 

tract'^'^''" ^"PPOse, but express, an original contract 
Thatthecon- ^^^^^^n the crowu and the people, by which 
tMi'conTJm *''^**' supreme power was ( by mutual consent, 
tt'iui'me"/ ^^^^ "°* ^y accident) limited and lodged in 
pSSe** more hands than one. And the uniform 
Themued pi'^^^^O'tion of such a Constitution for so 
Sifmni""" ^^"^y <^i/^^i without any fundamental change, 
prewrred demonstrates to your Lordships the continur 
agei, and ii auce of the same contract. 

a proof of •■ 

the contract. " The coiisequeuces ef such a frame of 

• State Trials, Vo!. V. p. 651. 



mM 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



123 



eoveniment are obvious: That the laws i-awsthe 

° commoQ 

are the rule to both, the common measure pieaaare to 

' klug and 

of the power of the crowu aud of the obedi- 'ubject. 
ence of the subject ; aud if the executive part endeav- 
ors the subversion and total destruction of the 
government, the original contract is thereby cawoffua 
broke, and the right of allegiance ceases; i"jury,and 

. „ breach of 

that part of the government thus fundatnen or'«inai con. 

tally injured hath a right to save or recover 

that Constitution in which it had an original interest." 

" The necessary means (which is the phrasu word» 
used by the Commons in their first article) meam »e- 
are words made choice of by them with the cauuon. 
greatest caution. Tliose means are described (in the 
preamble to their charge) to be, that glorious en- 
terprise which his late Majesty undertook, with an 
armed force, to deliver this kingdom from Popery 
and arbitrary power ; the concurrence of many sub- 
jects of the realm, who came over with him in that 
enterprise, and of many others, of all ranks and orders, 
who appeared in arms in many parts of the kingdom 
in aid of that enterprise. 

"These were the means that brought about the 
Revolution ; and which the act that passed soon after, 
declaring the rights and liberties of the subject, and set- 
tling the succession of the crown, intends, when his late 
Majesty is therein called the glorious instrument of de- 
livering the kingdom ; and which the Commons, in the 
last part of their first article, express by the word 
resistance. 

" But the Commons, who will never be RegMd of 

the Com- 

unmindful of the allegiance of the subjects mons to their 

„ , "' allegianos to 

to the crown of this realm, judged it higlily the crown, 

, , „ _ ° "' andtothe 

incumbent upon them, out of regard to the »»<:'«■■' con 



124 



APPEAL PROM THE NEW 



i| 



tafety of "her Maje»ty'% person and government, and 
the ancient and legal Constitution of this kingdom, 
to call that resistance the necessary means ; thereby 
plainly founding that power, of right and resist- 
ance, which was exercised by the people at the time 
of the happy Revolution, and which the duties of 
self-preservation and religion called them to, upon the 
NECESSITY of the case, and at the same time effectur 
ally securing her Majesty's government, and the due 

allegiance of all her subjects." 
hiU uli " "^^^ nature of such an original contract 

Stta prewr- of government proves that there is not only 
c?n^^!2^d ^ P^^^'" i" tlio people, who have inherited 
coMUtation. *^* freedom, to assert their own title to it, 

but they are bound in duty to transmit the 
same Constitution to their posterity also." 



Mr. Lechmere made a second speech. Notwith- 
standing the clear and satisfactory manner in which 
he delivered himself in his first, upon this arduous 
question, he thinks himself bound again distinctly to 
assert the same foundation, and to justify the Revo- 
lution on the case of necessity only, upon principles 
perfectly coinciding with those laid down in Mr. 
Burke's letter on the French aflFairs. 



Mr. Lechmere. 
"Your Lordships were 



acquainted, in 



The Com- 
mons BtrlcUy 

<»nflae their Opening the chargo, with how great caution, 
revolution to and with what unfeigned regard to her Maj- 

•eiMefc* ®^*^ *"^ ^^^ government, and to the duty and 

allegiance of her subjects, the Commons made 

choice of the words necessary means to express the re- 

Eistance that was made use of to bring about the Rev- 



i , /'ijp 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



125 



olutioa, and with the condemning of which the Doctor 
is charged by this article : not doubting but that the 
honor and justice of that resistance, /rom the necessity 
Off that case, and to which alone we have strictly confined 
ourselves, when duly considered, would con- 
firm and strengthen ♦ and be understood to ^2"a?k i^* 
be an effectual security of the allegiance of Jiegl^ce 
the subject to the crown of this realm, in JiJ^wni"' 
every other case where tho'e is not the same ^^^m. 
necessity ; and that the right of the people 
to self-defence, and preservation of their liberties, by re- 
sistance as their last remedy, is the result of a case of 
such XECESaiTT ONLT, and by which the original 
CONTRACT between king and people is broke. This was 
the principle laid dovm and carried through all that teas 
said with respect to allegiance ; and on WHicn foun- 
dation, in the name and on the behalf of all the com- 
mons of Cheat Britain, tve assert and justify that re- 
sistance by which the late happy Revolution was brought 
about.^^ 

" It appears to your Lordships and the world, that 
breaking the original contract between king and people 
were the words made choice of by that House '^f Com- 
mons," (the House of Commons which originated the 
Declaration of Right,) " with the greatest deliberation 
and judgment, and approved of by your Lordships, in 
that first and fundamental step made towards the re- 
establishment of the government, which had received so 
great a shock from the evil counsels which had been 
given to that unfortunate prince." 

Sir John Hawles, another of the managers, follows 
the steps of his brethren, positively affirming the 
doctrine of non-resistance to government to be the 



(/ 



M' 



126 



APPEAL PROM THE NEW 




general moral, religious, and political rule for the 
subject, and justifying the Revolution on the same 
principle with Mr. Burke, — that is, as an exception 
from necessity. Indeed, he carries the doctrine on 
tlie general idea of non-resistance much further than 
Mr. Burke has done, and full as far as it can per- 
liaps be supported by any duty o! perfect obligation, 
however noble and heroic it may be in many cases to 
Buffer death rather than disturb the tranquillity of 
our country. 

Sir John Hawles.* 
" Certainly it must be granted, that the doctrine 
that comma.nds obedience to the supreme power, 
though in things contrary to Nature, even to suffer 
death, which is the highest injustice that can be done 
a man, rathor than make an opposition to the su- 
preme power [is reasonable f], because the death of 
one or some few private persons is a less evil than 
disturbing the ivhole government ; that law must needs 
be understood to forbid the doing or saying anything 
to disturb the government, tlie rather because the 
obeying that law cannot be pretended to be against 
Nature : and the Doctor's refusing to obey that im- 
plicit law is the reason for which he is now prose- 
cuted ; though he would have it believed that the 
reason he is now prosecuted was for tlie doctrine he 
asserted of obedience to the supreme power ; which 
he might ha- preached as long as he had pleased, 
and the Commons would have taken no offence at it, 

♦ Page 676. 

t The words necessaiy to the completion of the sentence are want- 
ing in the printed trial, — but the construction of the sentence, as well 
as the foregoing part of the speech, justify the insertion of some sacb 
supplemental words as the above. 



dk 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



127 



if he had stopped there, and not have taken upon 
him, on that pretence or occasion, to have cast odious 
colors upon the Revolution." 

General Stanhope was among the managers. He 
begins his speech by a reference to the opinion of his 
fellow-managers, wliich he hoped had put beyond all 
doubt the limits and qualifications that the Commons 
had placed to their doctrines concerning the Revolu- 
tion ; yet, not satisfied with this general reference, 
after condemning the principle of non-resistance, 
which is asserted in the sermon without any exception, 
and stating, that, under llie specious pretence of 
preaching a peaceable doctrine, Sacheverell and the 
Jacobites meant, in reality, to excite a rebellion in 
favor of the Pretender, he explicitly limits his ideas 
of resistance with the boundaries laid down by his 
colleagues, and by Mr. Burke. 

General Stanhope. 

" The Constitution of England is found- fjg]'^^,^«'« 
ed upon compact; and the subjects of this •^"^iy'teg.i. 
kingdom have, in their several public and 
private capacities, as legal a title to what are their 
rights by law a» a prince to the possession of his 
crown. 

" Your Lordships, and most that hear me, are wit- 
nesses, and must remember the necessities of those 
times which brought about the Revolution : 
that no other remedy was left to preserve J»««f„^ 
our religion and liberties; that resistance '^^^"J" 
was necessary, and consequently just." 

"Had the Doctor, in the remaining part of his 
sermon, preached up peace, quietness, and the like, 



128 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



and shown how happy we are under her Majesty's 
administration, and exhorted obedience to it, lio had 
never been called to answer a charge at your Lord- 
ships' bar But the tenor of all his subsequent dis- 
course !8 f continued invective against the govern- 
ment." 



Mr. Walpole (afterwards Sir Robert) was one of 
the managers on this occasion. He was an honorabio 
man and a sound Whig. He was not, as the Jaco- 
bites and discontented Whigs of his time have repre- 
sented him, and as ill-informed people still represent 
him, a prodigal and corrupt minister. They charged 
hun, in their libels and seditious conversations, as 
having first reduced corruption to a system. Such 
was their cant. But he was far from governing by 
corruption. He governed by party attachments. 
The charge of systematic corruption is less applicable 
to liim, perhaps, than to any minister who ever served 
the crown for so great a length of time. He gained 
over very few from the opposition. Without being a 
genius of the first class, he was an intelligent, pru- 
dent, and safe minister. He loved peace, and he 
helped to communicate the same disposition to na- 
tions at least as warlike and restless as that in which 
he had the chief direction of affairs. Though he 
served a master who was fond of martial fame, he 
kept all the establishments very low. The land tax 
continued at two shillings in the pound for the great- 
er part of his administration. The other impositions 
were moderate. Tlie profound repose, the equal lib- 
erty, the firm protection of just laws, during the long 
period of his power, were the principal causes of that 
prosperity which afterwards took such rapid strides 



Sir Rduit U'.iif^^-I., f'lrsl Eii> l:f O't'.'d, k.C. 
l.i.t.i i pia.ir? |ulii!r>i III 14. t-, J,MT. Bji'ti-ti- \ .a l.ou. i.i thi- Nati.uui 



■..4. 




ll 








, . ■ I Ml 



,m 









* :| 



a^^ 



! \ 



TO THE OLD WmOS. 



129 



towards perfection, and which furnished to this na- 
tion ability to acquire the military glory which it has 
since obtained, as well as to bear the burdens, the 
cause and consequence of that warlike reputation. 
With many virtues, public and private, he had his 
faults ; but his faults were superficial. A careless, 
coarse, and over-familiar style of discourse, without 
sufficient regard to persons or occasions, and an al- 
most total want of political decorum, were the errors 
by which he was most hurt in the public opinion, 
and those through which his enemies obtained the 
greatest advantage over him. But justice must be 
done. The prudence, steadiness, and vigilance of 
that man, joined to the greatest possible lenity in his 
character and his politics, preserved the crown to this 
royal family, and, with it, their laws and liberties to 
this country. Walpole had no other plan of defence 
for the Revolution than that of the other managers, 
and of Mr. Burke ; and he gives full as little counte- - 
nance to any arbitrary attempts, on the part of rest- 
less and factious men, for framing new governments 
according to their fancies. 



Mr. Walpole. 

"Resistance is nowhere enacted to be ca«eofre. 
legal, but subjected, by all the laws now in 'me uw?' 
being, to the greatest penalties. 'T is what WKhSrof. 
is not, cannot, nor ought ever to be de- '"'*' 
scribed, or affirmed in any positive law, to be excus- 
able ; when, and upon what never-to-be^xpected occa- 
sions, it may be exercised, no man can foresee ; and 
ovght never to be thought of, but when an utter sub- 
version of the laws of the realm threatens the whole 
frame of a Constitution, and no redress can otherwise 

VOL. ir. 9 




1 



i 



I 



■ > 



180 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



he hoped for. It therefore does and ought forever to 
stand, in the eye and letter of the law, as the highest 
offence. But because any man, or party of men, may 
not, out of folly or wantonness, commit treason, or 
make their own discontents, ill principles, or dis- 
guised affections x another interest, a pretence to 
resist xhe supreme power, will it follow 
utmort !». from thence that the utmost necessity ought 

eeultyjuti- . / ° 

*"**• not to engage a nation m its own defence jor 
the preservation of the whole ? " 

Sir Joseph Jekyl was, as I have always heard and 
believed, as nearly as any individual could be, the 
very standard of Whig principles in his age. He was 
a learned and an able man ; full of honor, integrity, 
and public spirit ; no lover of innovation ; nor dis- 
posed to change his solid principles for the giddy 
fashion of the hour. Let us hear this Whig. 

Sir Joseph Jekyl. 
commoni do " lu clearing up and vindicating the yA&- 
itoiurfSb- tice of the Revolution, which was the sec- 
miuioD. ^^^ thing proposed, it is far from the intent 
of the Commons to state the limits and hounds of the 
subject's submission to the sovereign. That which 
the law hath been wisely silent in, the Commons de- 
sire to be silent in too ; nor will they put any case 
of a justifiable resistance, but that of the Revolution 
only : and they persuade themselves that the doing right 
to that resistance will be so far from promoting popular 
license or confusion, that it will have a contrary effect,^ 
and be a means of settling men's minds in the love of 
To leoare the and Veneration for the laws ; to rescue and 
onTy'aimof sccurc which was the ONLY aim and in- 
iio*a. '""" tention of those concerned in that rmstanee," 



i: . 



id! 



TO THE OLD WHIQS. 



131 



Dr. Sacheverell's counsel defended liim on this 
principle, namely, — that, whilst he enforced from 
the pulpit the general doctnne of non-resistance, he 
was not obliged to take notice of the theoretic limits 
which ought to modify that doctrine. Sir Joseph 
Jekyi, in his reply, whilst he controverts its applica- 
tion to the Doctor's defence, fully admits and even 
enforces the principle itself, and supports the Revo- 
lution of 1688, as he and all the manager- had done 
before, exactly upon the same grounds on which Mr. 
Burke has built, in his Reflections on the French 
Elevolution. 






Sir Joseph Jekyl. 
the Doctor had pretended to hiive Biamawe to 
r'.it'i „he particular bounds and limits of bounds of 
.,0. "sistance, and told the people in what anrar"**' 

they might or might not resist. Tie would have 
been much to blame; nor was one word said in the 
articles, or by the managers, as if that was 
expected from him ; but, on the contrary, we Kansunce 
have insisted that in NO case can resistance in cose™' 
be lawful, but in case of extreme neces- Ibyimant 
BITT, and where the Constitution can't other- '*""^' 
wise be preserved; and such necessity ought to be plain 
and obvious to the sense and judgment of the whole na- 
tion : and this was the case at the Revolution." 

The counsel for Doctor Sacheverell, in defending 
their client, were driven in reality to abandon the 
fundamental principles of his doctrine, and to con- 
fess that an exception to the general doctrine of 
passive obedience and non-resistance did exist in the 
case of the Revolution. This the managers for the 



y 





182 



APPEAL PROM THE NEW 



! I 



i '^1 f 






Commons considered as having gained their cause, 
as their having obtained the whole of what they con- 
tended for. They congratulated themselves and the 
nation on a civil victory as glorious and as honorable 
as any that had obtained in arms during that reign 
of triumphs. 

Sir Joseph Jekyl, in his reply to Harcourt, and the 
other great men who conducted the cause for the To- 
ry side, spoke in the following memorable terms, dis- 
tinctly stating the whole of what the Whig House 
of Commons contended for, in the name of all their 
constituents. 



NeoeMtty 
cieateiui 
exoeptloD, 
and the 
BeTOlation 
a caw of 
neoetslty, 
the utmoet 
extent of 
the demand 
of the Com- 
moni. 



Sir Joseph Jekyl. 
" My Lords, the concessions " (the conces- 
sions of Sacheverell'T counsel) "are these: 
That necessity creates an exception to the 
general rule of submission to the prince ; 
that such exception is understoood or im- 
plied in the laws that require such submis- 
sion; and that the case of the Revolution 
was a case of necessity. 

" These are concessions so ample, and do so fully 
answer the drift of the Commons in this article, and 
are to t?ie utmost extent of their meaning in it, that 
I can't forbear congratulating them upon this suc- 
cess of their impeachment, — that in full Parliament, 
this erroneous doctrine of unlimited non-resistance is 
given up and disclaimed. And may it not, in after 
ages, be an addition to the glories of this bright 
reign, that so many of those who are honored with 
being in her Majesty's service have been at your 
Lordships' bar thus successfully contending for the 
national rights of her people, and proving they are 
not precarious or remediless? 



TO THE OLD WmOS. 



188 



"But to return to these concessions: I must ap- 
peal to your Lordships, whether they are not a total 
departure from the Doctor's answer." 

I now proceed to show that the Whig managers for 
the Commons meant to preserve the government on 
a firm foundation, by asserting the perpetual validity 
of the settlement then made, and its coercive power 
upon posterity. I mean to show that they gave no 
sort of countenance to any doctrine tending to im- 
press the people (taken separately from the legislature, 
which includes the crown) with an idea that they had 
acquired a moral or civil competence to alter, with- 
out breach of the original compact on the part of the 
king, the succession to the crown, at their pleasure, — 
much less that they had acquired any right, in the 
case of such an event as caused the Eevolution, to 
set up any new form of government. The author 
of the Reflections, I believe, thought that no man 
of common understanding could oppose to this doc- 
trine the ordinary sovereign power &t declared in 
the act of Queen Anne : that is, that the kings or 
queens of the realm, with the consent of Parliament, 
are competent to regulate and to settle the succession 
of the crown. This power is and ever was inherent 
in the supreme sovereignty, and was not, as the po- 
litical divines vainly talk, acquired by the Revolution. 
It is declared in the old statute of Queen Elizabeth. 
Such a power must reside in the complete sovereignty 
of every kingdom ; and it is in fact exerciseo in all 
of them. But this right of competence in the legisla- 
ture, not in the people, is by the legislature itself 
to be exercised with iouind discretion : that is to say, 
it is to be exercised or not, in conformity to the fun- 



134 



APPEAL PROM THE NEW 




I 



damental principles of this govonunent, to the rules 
of moral obligation, and to the faith of pacts, either 
contained in the nature of the transaction or entered 
into by the body corporate of the kingdom, — which 
body in juridical construction never dies, and in 
fact never loses its members at once by death. 

Whether this doctrine is reconcilable to the ood- 
ern philosophy of government I believe the author 
neither knows nor cares, as he has little respect for 
any of that sort of philosophy. This may be because 
his capacity and knowledge do not reach to it. If 
such be the case, he cannot be blamed, if he acts on 
the sense of that incapacity ; he cannot be blamed, if, 
in the most arduous and critical questions which can 
possibly arise, and which affect to tlie quick the vi- 
tal parts of our Constitution, he takes the side which 
leans most to safety and settlement; that he is re- 
solved not " to be wise beyond what is written " in 
the legislative record and practice ; that, when doubts 
arise on them, he endeavors to interpret one statute 
by another, and to reconcile them all to established, 
recognized morals, and to the general, ancient, known 
policy of the laws of England. Two things are equal- 
ly evident : the first is, that the legislature possesses 
the power of regulatmg the succession of the crown ; 
the second, that in the exercise of that right it has 
uniformly acted as if under the restraints which the 
author has stated. That autlior makes what the an- 
cients call mo8 majorum not indeed his sole, but cer- 
tainly his principal rule of policy, to guide his judg- 
ment in whatever regards our laws. Uniformity and 
analogy can be preserved in them by this process on- 
ly. That pomt beuig fixed, and laying fast hold of 
a strong bottom, our speculations may swing in all 



m 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



185 



directions without public detriment, because they 
will ride with sure anchorage. 

lu this manner these things have been always con- 
sidered by our ancestors. There are some, indeed, 
who have the art of turning the very acts of Parlia- 
ment which were made for ecuring the hereditary 
succession in the present royal family, by rendering 
it penal to doubt of the validity of those acts of Par- 
liament, into an instrument for defeating all their 
ends and purposes, — but upon grounds so very fool- 
ish that it is not worth while to take farther notice 
of such sophistry. 

' To prevent any unnecessary subdivision, I shall 
here put together what may be necessary to show the 
perfect agreement of the Whigs with Mr. Burke in 
his assertions, that the Revolution made no " essential 
change in the constitution of the monarchy, or in any 
of its ancient, sound, and legal principles ; that the 
succession was settled in the Hanover family, upon 
the idea and in the mode of an hereditary succession 
qualified with Protestantism ; that it was not settled 
upon elective principles, in any sense of the word elee 
tive, or under any modification ov description of elec- 
tion whatsoever ; but, on the contrary, tliat the nation, 
after the Revolution, renewed by a fresh compact the 
spirit of the original compact of the state, binding 
itself, both in its existing members and all its posterity, 
to adhere to the settlement of an hereditary succession 
in the Protestant line, drawn from James the First, 
as the stock of inheritance." 

Sir John Hawles. 
"If he [Dr. Sacheverell] is of the opinion ^^f^f 
he pretendi, I omn't imagine how it comes tf^^°'a'5d 



Ii< 



136 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 









inbmMon to poss that he that pays that deference to 
ment " ' the supremo power has preached so directly 
contrary to the determinations of the supreme power 
in this government, ho very well knowing that the 
lawfulness of the Revolution, and of the means where- 
by it was brought about, has already been determined 
by the aforesaid acts of Parliament, — and do it in the 
worst manner that he could invent. For questioning 
the right to the crown here in En^Mh^ji. ha» procured 
the shedding of more blood and caused more slaughter 
than all the other matters tending to disturbances in the 
govemmmt put together. If, therefore, the doctrine 
which the Apostles had laid down was only to continue 
the peace of the world, as thinking the death of some 
few particular persons better to be borne with than a 
civil war, sure it is the highest breach of that law to 
question the first principles of this government." 

" If the Doctor had been contented with the liberty 
he took of preaching up the duty of passive obedience 
in the most extensive manner he had thought fit, and 
would have stopped there, your Lordships would not 
have had the trouble in relation to him that you 
now have ; but it is plain that he preached up his 
absolute and unconditional obedience, not to continue 
the peace and tranquillity of this nation, but to set the 
mbjects at strife, and to raise a war in the bowels of 
this nation: and it is for this that he is now prose- 
cuted; though he would fain have it believed that 
the prosecution was for preaching the peaceable doc- 
trine of absolute obedience." 



Sir Joseph Jekyl. 
Whole frame <«The whole tenor of the admmistration 

ofgoTern- •■ , i, • 

2S«i un- *^®° ^'^ bemg was agreed by all to ue a total 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



187 



departure from the Constitution. The nation haTt,onUM 
was at that timo united in that opinion, all 
but the criminal part of it. And as the nation joined 
in the judgment of their disease, so they did in the 
remedy. They saw there was no remedy Irft hut the 
last; and when that remedy took place, the whole 
frame of the government was restored entire and un- 
hurt.* This showed the excellent temper the nation 
was in at that time, that, after such provocations 
from an abuse of the regal power, and such a convul- 
sion, no one part of the Constitution was altered, or 
suffered the least damage; but, on the contrary, the 
whole received new life and vigor." 

The Tory counsel for Dr. Sacheverell having insin- 
uated that a great and essential alteration in vhe 
Constitution had been wrought by the Revolution, 
Sir Joseph Jekyl is so strong on this point, that he 
takes fire even at the insinuation of his being of such 
an opinion. 

Sir Joseph Jekyl. 
"If the Doctor instructed his counsel to NoinnoTir 
insinuate that there was any innovation in aeToiati<». 
the Constitution wrought by the Revolution, it is an ad- 
dition to his crime. The Revolution did not .ntroduce 
anj innovation ; it was a restoration of the ancient fun- 

• " What we did was, in truth and substance, and in a cooatitn- 
tional light, a revolution, not made, bni prevented. We took solid 
■ecnrities ; we settled doubtful questions ; we corrected anomalies in 
our law. In the stable, fundamental parts of our Constitution we 
made 1.0 revolution, — no, nor any alteration at all. We did not im- 
pair the monarchy. Perhaps it might be shown that we strengthened 
it very considerably. The nation kept the same ranks, the same 





/ ' 




! 


' 








« ^ 


'. f 


r 

1' 


i . 


t" 


i^- ■ 




^■* 



■3 « 



i * 



I 



S t-; 



188 



APPEAL FBOM THB NEW 



dameatal Comtitution of the kingdom, and giving it its 
proper force and energy." 

The Solicitor-General, Sir Robert Eyre, diBtinguishes 
expressly the case of the Revolution, and its princi- 
ples, from a proceeding at pleasure, on the part of the 
people, to change their ancient Constitution, and to 
frame a new government for themselves. He distin- 
guishes it with the same care from the principles of 
regicide and republicanism, and the sorts ot resisl'- 
ance condemned by the doctrines of the Church )' 
England, and which ought to be condemned by '■ i 
doctrines of all churches professing Christianity. 

Mr. Solicitor-General, Sir Robert Eyre. 
Btroiauon " 'I'he resistance at the Revolution, which 
fw^'^^u^ was founded in unavoidable necessity, coiild 
2i^w. be no defence to a man that was attacked 
for aasertinfl that the people might cancel their alle- 
giance at p ^mre, or dethrone and murder their tov- 
erngn by a judiciary sentence. For it can never be 
inferred, from the lawfulness of resistance at a time 
when a total subversion of the government both in 
Church and State was intended, that a people may 
take up arms and coil their sovereign to account at 
pleasure ; and therefore, since <Ae Revolution could be 
of no service in giving the least color for asserting any 
guch wicked principle, the Doctor could never in- 

orden, the same privileges, the same franchise*, the same rules for 
propertjr, the same subordinatioDS, the same order in the law, in the 
nrenae, laA in the magistracy, — the same lords, the same commons, 
the same corporations, the same electors."— ifr. Burke'* Speech in the 
Hone of Conunora, iih Fdmiary, 1790. — It appears how exactly he 
coincides .a everything with Sir Joseph JekyL 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



189 



tend to put it into the mouths of those new preach- 
ers and new politicians for a defence, — 
unless it be his opinion that the resistance lUTotaHon 
at the Revolution can bear any parallel with S?* J* ^ 
the execrable murder of the royal martyr, to «"»• 
jusUy detested by the whole nation." 

"'Tis plain that the Doctor is not impeached for 
preaching a general doctrine, and enforcing the gen- 
eral duty of obedience, but for preaching against an 
excepted case after he has stated the exception. He is 
not impeached for preaching the general doctrine of 
obedience, and the utter illegality of resistance upon 
any pretence whatsoever, but because, having first 
laid uown the general doctrine as true, without any 
exception, he states the excepted case, the Revolution, 
in express terms, as an objection, and then assumes 
the consideration of that excepted case, denies there 
was any resistance in the Revolution, and asserts 
that to impute resistance to the Revolution would cast 
black and odious colors upon it. This, my Lords, is 
not preaching the doctrine of non-resistance in the 
general terms used by the Homilies and the fathers of 
the Church, where ciises of necessity may be under- 
stood to be excepted by a tacit implication, as the counsel 
have allowed, — but is preaching directly against the 
resistance at the Revolution, which, in the course of 
this debate, has been all along admitted to be neces- 
sary and Just, and can have no other mean- 
ing than to bring a dishonor upon the Rev- sachCTereu"* 

, . , ,. , ^ , doctrine lo. 

olution, and an odium upon those great and ^nded to 
illustrious persons, those friends to the mon- «"»" <»> 
archy and the Church, that assisted tn bringing "on- 
it about. For had the Doctor intended anything else, 
he would have treated the case of the Revulutiou in a 



i < 



M 



it- 



140 



APPEAL, FBCK THE NEW 




! * 



TtaedefeaM dlffeiont uiaaitC'!', itid have given it the true 
iiuioooD and fair answer: ho would have said that 
oMCMiir. the 1 osistauce at tlie Rurolution was of abeo- 
lute neeegeitt/, and the only means left to revive the Con- 
ttitution, and mutt be therifore taken a» an excepted 
ease, and could never come within the reach or in- 
tention of the general doctrine of the Church." 

" Your Lordsliips take notice on what grounds the 
Doctor continues to assert the same posit iuii in his 
answer. But is it not most evident that tlie general 
exhortations to be met with in the Homilies of the 
Church of England, and such like declarations in the 
statutes of the kingdom, are meant only as rules for 
the civil obedience of the subject to the legal admin- 
istration of the supreme power in ordinary cases? 
And it is equally absurd to construe any words in a 
positive law to authorize the destruction of the whole, 
as to expect that King, Lords, and Commons should, 
in express terms of law, declare such an ultimate re- 
tort as the right of resistance, at a time when the case 
supposes that the force of all law is ceased."* 

" The Commons must always resent, with 
the utmost detestation and abliorrence, every 
position that may shake the authority of that 
act of Parliament whereby th^: crown is set- 
tled ii|M)n her Majesty, and whereby the Lords 
Spiritual and I> >ral and Commonn do, in the name 
of all the people of England, most humhhf and faithful- 
ly submit themselves, their heirs and posterities, to her 
Majesty, which tlii: general principle of absolute non- 
resistance must certainly shake. 

"For, if the resistance at the Revt ution was ill- 

• See Refieetioas, pp. 42, 43. — Works, Vol. lL p. 270. laesuit 
edition. 



CommoiM 
abhor whaU 
crrr (bake* 
tlie iabml*- 
■iion of pot- 
teritr to the 
•ettlemeot 
of the erowo. 



TO THE OLD WB 03. 



141 



gal, the Revolution settled in > irpat and iia 
act can have no j^reater f< -ce and author ;:jr that in 
act passed under a uiurper- 

" And iho Coiumons take leave to observe, that tlio 
authority of this V -liamentary settlement is a matter 
of the greatet<t consequence to maintain, in a casiu 
wiiere the hereditary right to the crown is contested." 

" It appears by the several instances mentioned in 
the act (1 cla»-ing the rights and liberties of the p»iI>- 
ject md settling toe succession of he crown, tl -t 
^t the time of tiie Revolution there was a total tuh- 
vergion of the con.-^ itution of government hoth in Church 
and State, which i» a case that the la < of Etigland 
amid never mppoge, provide^ -, or h'jre in view." 



■^ir Joseph Jekyl, so often quoted, considered *he 
preservatioii of the monarchy, and of the rigl. ts ad 
prerogatives oi the r'"own, a? ssentiai object-! wit! all 
S( and Whigs, and ti at they were bound not onl o 
maintain them, wh ■ injured or invaded, bn exert 
themselves as miuh lot their reestablishm^at, ,^thp 
should iiappen t' be < vertiirown by popub" fury, as 
any of their own more immediate and poj) aar rights 
and privilege . if Use latter should be at anv tit j 
subverted by ,, crown. F • this reason h pvtm 
the cases of tl e Revolution an the Reatoratior 
W upon the same f tot. ;ig. He plaiuly mp-ks, th ; 
was the object of all hone> t mi a not to acrifice one 
part of thfl Constitution to another, and much more, 
not to sacrifice any of them to visionary theories of 
the rights of man, but to preserve our whole inheri- 
tancfi in the Con^titutior , in all its memi <^rs and all 
its relations, entire ant imimpaired, from _ ation 
to generation. In th Mr. Burke exactly agrees 
with him. 



t- 






142 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



Whattn 
the ridhtl of 
the people. 



Reitontlon 
•Dd KcTolu- 
tion. 



Sir Joseph Jehyl. 
" Nothing is plainer than that the people 
have a right to the laws and the Constitu- 
tion. This right the nation hath asserted, and re- 
covered out of the hands of those who had dispos- 
sessed them of it at several times. There are of 
this two famov* instances in the knowledge of the 
present age : I mean that of the Restoration, 
and that of the Revolution : in both these 
great events were the regal power and the rights 
of the people recovered. And it is hard to say in 
People htTe which the people have the greatest interest; 
terat In the for the Commons are sensible that there is not 
of the crown one legal power belonging to the crown, but 
own. they have an interest in it ; and I doubt not 

but they will always be as careful to support the rights 
of the crown as their ovm privileges." 

The other Whig managers regarded (as he did) 
the overturning of the monarchy by a republican fac- 
tion with the very same horror and detestation with 
which they regarded the destruction of the privileges 
of the people by an arbitrary monarch. 

Mr. Lechmere, 
coniutntion Speaking of our Constitution, states it as 
the Beeton- " a Constitution which happily recovered it- 
oiution. * self, at the Restoration, from the confusions 
and disorders which the horrid and detestable proceed- 
ings of faction and usurpation had thrown it into, and 
which after many convulsions and struggles was 
providentially saved at the late happy Revolution, 
and by the many good laws passed since that time 
stands now upon a firmer foundation, together with 



Jos,ph J,-ksiI, F.R.S., F.S..I 

Friim a Jv.nviii^> by < icnrjie Uancr, R.A., in the Nati;>iui I'cir'rai' (Jallt-ry 



1 




1 



1 


ni 


f 


• i 


* 




f '^ ^ 






• ' 




TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



148 



the most comfortable prospect of aeeurity to all poster- 
ity by the settlement of the crown in tiie Protestant 
line." 



I mean now to show that the Whigs (if Sir Joseph 
Jekyl was one, and if he spoke in conformity to the 
sense of the Whig House of Commons, and the Whig 
ministry who employed him) did carefully guard 
again<it any presumption that might arise from the 
repeal of the non-resistance oath of Charles the Sec- 
ond, as if at the Revolution the ancient principles of 
our government were at all changed, or that repub- 
lican doctrines were countenanced, or any sanction 
given to seditious proceedings upon general unde- 
fined ideas of misconduct, or for changing ihu form 
of government, or for resistance upon any other 
ground than the necessity so often mentioned for the 
purpose of self-preservation. It will show still more 
clearly the equal care of the then Whigs to prevent 
either the regal power from being swallowed up on 
pretence of popular rights, or the popular rights from 
being destroyed on pretence of rogal prerogatives. 

Sir Joseph Jekyl. 
"Further, I desire it may be . msid- Misowefof 
ered, these legislators " (the legislators who anuSonurob- 
framed the non-resistancj oath of Charles piei. 
the Second) " were guarding against the consequen- 
ces of those pemiaious and antimonarchical principles 
which had been broached a little hfore in this nation, 
and those large declarations in favor of non-resistance 
were made to encounter or obviate tlie mischief of 
those principles, — as appears by the preamble to the 
fullest of those acts, which is the Militia Act, in the 



144 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



E 



TwoeaaetoT 
retiitanee: 
ooetopr^ 
•erreths 
erovn, tha 
other the 
right* of the 
•altieet. 



18th and 14th of King Charles the Second. The 
words of that act are these: And during the late 
usurped governments, many evil and rebellious princi- 
ples have been instilled into the minds of the people of 
this kingdom, which may break forth, unless prevented, 
to the disturbance of the peace and quiet thereof: Be it 
thertfore enacted, &c. Here your Lordships may see 
the reason that inclined those legislators to express 
themselves in such a manner against resist- 
ance. They had seen the regal rights swal- 
lowed up under the pretence of popular ones: 
and it is no imputation on them, that they 
did not then foresee a quite different cmtt^ 
as was that of the Revolution, where, under 
the pretence of regal authority, a total subversion of 
the rights of the subject was advanced, and in a man- 
ner effected. And this may serve to show that it 
was not the design of those legislators to condemn 
resistance, in a case of ahsolute necessity, for preserv- 
ing the Constitution, when they were guarding against 
principles which had so lately destroyed it." 

" As to the truth of the doctrine in this declara- 
tion which was repealed, I'll admit it to be as true 
as the Doctor's counsel assert it, — tJiat is, 
NoiMerirt- unth an exception of cases of necessity : and 
not repealed it was uot rcpealod because it was false, 

becanae 

(with the understanding it with that restriction; but 
nece.«ity)it it was repealed because it might be inter- 
but to pre. preted in an unconfined sense, and exclu- 
tnterprtta- sivc of that restriction, and, being so under- 
stood, would reflect on the justice of the 
Revolution: and this the legislature had at heart, 
and were very jealous of, and by this repeal of that 
declaration gave a Parliamentary or legislative ad- 



f- '■ 



ftcrrr 



-Cu f ^..&. 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



145 



monition against asserting this doctrine of non-resist- 
ance in an unlimited sense.'* 

" Thongli the general doctrine of non- oeneni 
resistance, the doctrine of the Church of ^°S!IlSf,? 
England, as stated in her Homilies, or else- "?wffi 
where delivered, by which the general duty ST 
of subjects to the higher powers is taught, fwy't^J*" 
be owned to be, as unquestionably it is, a god- ""■*""* 
lyand wholesome doctrine, — though this general doc- 
trine has been constantly inculcated by the reverend 
fathers of the Church, dead and living, and preached 
by tliem as a preservative against the Popish doctrine 
r of deposing princes, and as the ordinary rule of obe- 
( dience, — and though the same doctrine has been 

preached, maintained, and avowed by our most ortho- 
, dox and able divines from the time of the Reformar 

tion, — and how innocent a man soever Dr. Sachever- 
ell had been, if, with an honest and well-meant zeal, he 
had preached the same doctrine in the same general 
terms in which he found it delivered by the Apostles 
of Christ, as taught by the Homilies and the reverend 
fathers of our Church, and, in imitation of those great 
examples, had only pressed the general duty of obe- 
dience, and the illegality of resistance, witliout tak- 
ing notice of any exception," &c. 

Another of the managers for tlie Houfc of Com- 
mons, Sir John Holland, was not less careful in 
guarding against a confusion of the principles of the 
Revolution with any loose, general doctrines of a 
right in the individual, or even in the people, to un- 
dertake for themselves, on any prevalent, temporary 
opinions of convenience or improvement, any funda- 
mental change in the Constitution, or to fabricate a 



VOL. IV. 



10 



I 



146 



APPEAL PBOM THE NEW 




new government for themselves, and thereby to dis- 
turb the public peace, and to unsettle the ancient 
Constitution of this kingdom. 



BabmlMloD 
to the lOTeiw 
aign a con- 



Sir John Holland. 
" The Commons would not be understood 
as if they were pleading for a licentious re- 
tor^pt sistance, as if »vhjecta wore left to their 
iSmSV' good-will and pleasure when they are to 
obey and when to rcmt. No, my Lords, they know 
they are obliged hy all the ties of social creatures and 
Christians, for wrath and conscience^ sake, to submit to 
their sovereign. The Commons do not abet humor- 
some, factious arms : they aver them to be rebellions. 
But yet tliey maintain that that resistance at the Rev- 
olution, which was so necessary, was lawful and just 
from that necessity." 

" These general rules of obedience may, upon a real 
necessity, admit a lawful exception ; and such a necessa- 
ry exception we assert the Revolution to be. 
Bightof re- i "T is ^ith this view of necessity, only 

iUtaDoe how . i 

tobe under- absolute nccessity of preserving our laws, 
liberties, and religion, — 't is with this litni- 
taiion, that we desire to be understood, when any of 
us speak of resistance in general. The necessity of 
the resistance at the Revolution was at that time 
obvious to every man." 

I shall conclude these extracts with a reference to 
the Prince of Orange's Declaration, in whicli lie gives 
the nation the fullest assurance that in his enter- 
prisv. he was far from the intention of introducing 
any change whatever in the fundamental law and 
Constitutiou of the state. He considered the object 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



147 



of his entCi-prise not to be a precedent for further 
revolutions, but that it was the great end of his ex- 
pedition to make such revolutions, so far as human 
power and wisdom could provide, unnecessary. 

Extractifrom the Prince of Orange' » Declaration. 

^^ All magittratet, who have been unjustly turned 
out, Bhall forthwith retume their former employments ; 
as well as all the boroughs of England shall return 
again to their ancient prescriptions and charters, and, 
more particularly, that the ancient charter of the great 
and famous city of London shall again be in force ; 
and that the writs for the members of Parliament 
shall be addressed to the proper officers, according to 
law and cusiom.'' 

" And for the doing of all other things which the 
two Houses of Parliament shall find necessary for the 
peace, honor, and safety of the nation, so that there 
may he no more danger of the nation's falling, at any 
time hereafter, under arbitrary government." 

Extract from the Prince of Oranges Additional 
Declaration. 
" We are confident that no persons can have such 
hard thoughts of us &s to imagine that we have any 
other design in this undertaking than to procure a 
settlement of the religion ar.d of the liberties and 
properties of the subjects upon so sure a foundation 
(Jiat there may be no danger of the nation's relapsing 
mio the. like miseries at any time hereafter. And as 
the forces that we have brought along with us are 
utterly disproportioned to that wicked design of con- 
quering the nation, if we were capable of intending 
it, so the great numbers of the principal nobility and 






II 




148 



APPIUL FBOM TBI NEW 



Priiiei|«i gentry, that are men of eminent quality and 
gentir'weu estatet, and pertoru of known integrity and 
the cbureb teal, both foT the religion and government of 
•fcurity""' England, many of them also being diatin- 
dnivaofio- gui»hed by their constant fidelity to the crown, 
"* "■ who do both accompany us in thi.-. expedi- 
tiou and have earnestly solicited us to it, will cover 
us from all such malicious insinuations." 



In the spirit, and, upon one occasion, in the words,* 
of this Declaration, the statutes passed in that reign 
made such provisions for preventing these dangers, 
that scarcely anything short of combination of King, 
Lords, and Commons, for the destruction of the liber- 
ties of the nation, can in any probability make us lia- 
ble to similar perils. In that dreadful, and, I hope, 
not to be looked-for case, any opinion of a right to 
make revolutions, grounded on this precedent, would 
be but a poor resource. Dreadful, indeed, would be 
our situation! 



\ 



These are the doctrines held by the Whigs of the 
Revolution, delivered with as much solemnity, and as 
authentically at least, as any political dogmas were 
ever promulgated from the beginning of the world. 
If there be any difference between their tenets and 
those of Mr. Burke, it is, that the old Whigs oppose 
themselves still more strongly than he does against 
the doctrines which are now propagated with so much 
industry by those who would be thought their suc- 
cessors. 

It will be said, perhaps, that the old Wliigs, in 
order to guard themselves against popular odium, 

* Declaration of Right. 



TO THR OLD WmOS. 



149 



pretended to assort enets contrary to those wliich 
they secretly held. This, if true, would prove, what 
Mr. Burke has uniformly asserted, that the extrava- 
gant doctrines which he meant to expose were disa- 
greeable to the body of the people, — wlio, though they 
perfectly abhor a despotic government, certainly ap- 
proached more nearly to the love of mitigated monar- 
chy than to anything which bears the appearance 
even of the best republic. But if these old Whigs 
deceived the people, their conduct was unaccountable 
indeed. They exposed their power, as every one con- 
versant in history knows, to the greatest peril, for 
the propagation of opinions which, on this hypothesis, 
they did not hold. It is a new kind of martyrdom. 
This supposition does as little credit to their integrity 
as their wisdom : it makes them at once hypocrites 
and fools, I think of those great men very differ- 
ently. I hold them to have been, what the world 
thought them, men of deep understanding, open sin- 
cerity, and clear honor. However, be that matter as 
it may, what these old Wiiigs pretended to be Mr. 
Burke is. This is enougli for him. 

I do, indeed, admit, that, though Mr. Burke has 
proved that his opinions were those of the old Whig 
party, solemnly declared by one House, in effect and 
substance by both Houses of Parliament, this testi- 
mony standing by itself will form no proper defence 
for his opinions, if he and the old Whigs were both of 
them in the wrong. But it is his present concern, not 
to vindicate these old Whigs, but to show his agree- 
ment with them. Ho appeals to them as judges: 
he does not vindicate them as culprits. It is current 
that these old politicians knew little of tlie rights of 
men, — that they lost iheir way by groping about in 



150 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



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the dark, and fumbling among rotten parchment! 
and musty records. Great lights, they say, are lately 
obtained iu the world ; and Mr. Burke, instead of 
shrouding himself iu exploded ignorance, ought to 
have taken advantage of the blaze of illumination 
which has been spread about him. It may be so. 
The enthusiasts of this time, it seems, like their pre- 
decessors in another faction of fanaticis^a, deal iu 
lights. Hudibras pleasantly says of them, they 

" Have light*, where better eye* arc blind, — 
Aa pigi are laid to tee the wind." 

The author of the Reflections has heard a great 
deal concerning the modern lights, but he has not yet 
had the good fortune to tee much of them. He has 
read more than lie can justify to anything but the 
spirit of curiosity, of the works of these illuminators 
of the world. He has learned nothing from the far 
greater number of them than a full certainty of their 
shallowness, levity, pride, petulance, presumption, 
and ignorance. Where the old authors whom he has 
read, and tiic old men whom he has conversed with, 
have left him in the dark, he is in the dark still. If 
others, however, have obtained any of this extraor- 
dinary light, they will use it to guide them in their 
researches and their conduct. I have only to wish 
that the nation may be as happy and as prosperous 
imder the influence of the new light as it has been 
in the sober shade of the old obscurity. As to the 
rest, it will be diflScult for the author of the Reflec- 
tions to conform to the principles of the avowed lead- 
ers of the party, mitil they appear otherwise than 
negatively. All we can gather from them is this, — 
that their principles are diametrically opposite to his. 
This is all that wo know from autliority. Their neg- 



TO THE OLD WHIOS 



Ul 



ative declaration obliges mo to Imve ;ccoiir"e to the 
bouks which contain positive doctrines. " liey a/x, 
indeed, to those Mr. Burke holds diametrira!' • oppo- 
site; aud if it be true (as the oracles of tin- partv 
have said, I hope hastily) that their opiuioll^^ differ 
so widoi it should seem thejr are the most likely to 
form the creed of Uie modern Whig^. 

I have -stated what were the avowed sentiments of 
the old Whigs, not in the way of argum t, but iiar- 
rat'vely. It is but fair to sot before the reader, in 
the same simple manner, the sentiments of the mod- 
ern, to which they spare neitiier pains n(*r expense 
to make proselytes. I choose thera from the books 
upon which most of that industry and expenditure 
in circulation have been employed ; I choose them, 
not from those who speak with a politic obscurity, 
not from those who only controvert tlie opinions of 
the old Whigs, without advancing any of their own, 
but from tl oso who speak plainly and affirmatively. 
The Whig leader may make his choice between the 
two doctrines. 

The doctrine, then, propagated by these societies, 
which gentlemen think they ought to be very tender 
in discouraging, as nearly as possible in their own 
words, is as follows: That in Great Britain we are 
not only without a good Coiif 'icuiion, but that we 
have " no Constitution".; — tha^, " though it is much 
talked about, no such thing as a Constitution exists 
or ever did exist, and consequently that the people 
have a Constitution yet to form ; — that since William 
the Conqueror the country has never yet regenerated 
itself, and is therefore without a Constitution ; — that 
where it cannot be produced in a vi&ibiy form there 



./ 



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APPEAL FBOH TEE NEW 



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is none ; — that a Constitution is a thing antecedent 
to government ; and that the Constitution of a coun- 
try is not the act of its government, but of a people 
constituting a government; — that everything in the 
English government is the reverse of what it ought 
to be, and what it is said to be in England ; — that 
the right of war and peace resides in a metaphor 
shown at the Tower for sixpence or a shilling apiece ; 
— that it signifies not where the right resides, whether 
in the crown or in Parliament; war is the common 
harvest of those who pai-ticipate in the division and 
expenditure of public money ; — that the portion of 
liberty ei^joyed in England is just enough to enslave 
a country more productively than by despotism. 

So far as to the general state of the British Consti- 
tution. — ; As to our House of Lords, the chief virtual 
representative of our aristocracy, the great ground 
and pillar of security to the landed interest, and that 
main link by which it is connected with the law and 
the crown, these worthy societies are pleased to tell 
us, that, " whether we view aristocracy before, or be- 
hind, or sideways, or any way else, domestically or 
publicly, it is still a monster; — that aristocracy in 
France had one feature less in its countenance than 
what it has in some other countries : it did not com- 
pose a body of hereditary legislators ; it was not a 
corporation of aristocraay " (for such, it seems, that 
profound legislator, M. de La Payette, describes tho 
House of Peers) ; — " that it is kept up by family tyr- 
a.nny and injustice ; — that there is an unnatural un- 
fitness in aristocracy to be legislators for a nation ; — 
thai their ideas of distributive justice are corrupted 
at tho very source ; they begin life by trampling on 
all their younger brothers and sisters, a id relations 



i.'l 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



153 



of ererj kind, and are taught and educated so to do ; 
— that the idea of an hereditary legislator is as ab- 
surd as an hereditary mathematician ; — that a body 
holding themselves unaccountable to anybody ought 
to be trusted by nobody ; — that it is continuing the 
uncivilized principles of governments founded in con- 
quest, and the base idea of man having a property in 
man, and governing him by a personal right ; — that 
aristocracy has a tendency lo degenerate the human 
species," &c., &o. 

As to our law of primogeniture, which with few 
and inconsiderable exceptions is the standiiip? law of 
all our landed inheritance, and which without ques- 
tion has a tendency, and I thmk a most happy ten- 
dency, to preserve a character of consequence, weight, 
and prevalent mfluence over others in the whole bodj 
of the landed uiterest, they call loudly for its destruc- 
tion. They do this for political reasons that are 
very manifest. They have the confidence to say, 
" that it is a law against every law of Nature, and 
Nature herself calls for its destruction. Establish 
family justice, and aristocracy falls. By the aristo- 
cratical law of primogenitureship, in a family of six 
children, five are exposed. Aristocracy has never 
but one child. The rest are begotten to be devotired. 
Tliey are thrown to the cannibal for prey, and the 
natural parent prepares the unnatural repast." 

As to the House of Commons, they treat it far 
worse than the House of Lords or the crown have 
been ever treated. Perhaps they thought they liad 
a greater right to take this amicable freedom with 
those of their own family. For many years it has 
been the perpetual theme of their invectives. " Mock- 
ery, uisult, usurpation," are amongst the best names 



t^'^. /c 



i:u^ 



•-•u,. 



-M^^**. 



154 



APPEAL FBOU THE NEW 



m 



't^^ 




they bestow upon it. They damn it in the mass, 
by declaring " that it does not arise out of the 
inherent rights of the people, as the National As- 
sembly does in France, and whose name desig- 
nates its origmal." 

Of the charters and corporations, to whose rights 
a few years ago these gentlemen were so tremblingly 
alive, they say, " that, when the people of England 
come to reflect upon them, they will, like France, 
annihilate those badges of oppression, those traces 
of a conquered nation." 

As to our monarchy, they had formerly been more 
tender of that branch of the Constitution, and for 
a good reason. The laws had guarded against all 
seditious attacks upon it with a greater degree of 
strictness and severity. The tone of those gentlemen 
is totally altered since the French Revolution. They 
now declaim as vehemently against the monarchy as 
on former occasions they treacherously flattered and 
soothed it 

" When we survey the wretched condition of man 
under the monarchical and hereditary systems of gov- 
ernment, dragged from his home by one power, or 
driven by another, and impoverished by taxes more 
than by enemies, it becomes evident that those sys- 
tems are bad, and that a general revolution in the 
principle and construction of governments is neces- 
sary. 

" What is government more than the management 
of the affairs of a nation ? It is not, and from its na- 
ture cannot be, the property of any particular man or 
family, but of the whole community, at whose expense 
it is supported ; and though by force or contrivance 
it has been usurped into an inlieritanco, the usurpa- 



TO THE OLD WHIQS. 



155 



tion Cimuot alter the right of thiugs. Sovereignty, 
as a matter of right, appertains to the nation only, 
L id not to any individual ; and a nation has at all • 
times an inheren t indefeasible ^i£lit_Jo.abQligli_auyf 
fw;m^government it finds inconvenient^ a nd esta b- . 
lish such as_accord8 with its interestj disp ositiou j^and 
happiness. The romantic and barbarous distinction 
oF men into kings and subjects, though it may suit 
the condition of courtiers, cannot that of citizens, 
and is exploded by the pruiciple upon which govern- 
ments are now founded. Every citiz en is a member 
of the sovereignty, and, as such, can acknowledge no 
gersonal jubjection, and his obedience_cmi be only to 
thojaws." 

Warmly recommending to us the example of 
France, where they have destroyed monarchy, they 
say,— 

" Mona rehical soYercign tv. t)ie en emy of mankind, 
and the source of misery, is abolished ; and sovereign- 
ty itself is restored to its natural and original place, 
the nation. Were this the case throughout Europe, 
the cause of wars would be taken away." 

"But, after all, what is this metaphor called a 
crown ? or rather, what is monarchy ? Is it a tiling, 
or is it a name, or is it a fraud ? Is it ' a contrivance 
of human wisdom,' or of human craft, to obtain mon- 
ey from a nation under specious pretences ? Is it 
a thing necessary to a nation V If it is, in what 
does that necessity consist, what services does it per- 
form, what is its business, and what are its merits ? 
D'jth tlio virtue consist in the metaplior or in the 
man ? Doth tlie goldsmith that makes the crown make 
the virtue also? Doth it operate like Furtunatus's 
wishing-cap or Harlequin's wooden sword ? Doth 



156 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



! !* 



n 



\ 



11 



■1 i 



it make a man a conjurer ? In fine, what is it ? It 
appears to be a sometiiing going much out of fashion, 
falling into ridicule, and rejected in some countries 
both as unnecessary and expensive. In America it 
is considered as an absurdity ; and in France it has 
so far declined, that the goodness of the man and the 
respect for his personal character are the only things 
that preserve the appearance of its existence." 

" Mr. Burke talks about what he calls an heredita- 
ry crown, as if it were some production of Nature, — 
or as if, like time, it had a power to operate, not only 
independently, but in spite of man, — or as if it were 
a thing or a subject universally consented to. Alas ! 
it has none of those properties, but is the reverse of 
them all. It is a thing in imagination, the propriety 
of which is more than doubted, and the legality of 
which in a few years will be denied." 

*' If I ask the farmer, the manufacturer, the mer- 
chant, the tradesman, and down through all the oc- 
cupations of life to the common laborer, what service 
monarchy is to him, he can give me no answer. If 
I ask him what monarchy is, he believes it is some- 
thing like a sinecure." 

" The French Constitution says, that the right of 
war and peace is in the nation. Where else should it 
reside, but in those who are to pay the expense ? 

" In England, this right is said to reside in a meta- 
phor, shown at the Tower for sixpence or a shilling 
apiece : so are the lions ; and it would be a step near- 
er to reason to say it resided in them, for any in- 
animate metaphor is no more than a hat or a cap. 
We can all see the absurdity of worshipping Aaron's 
molten calf, or Nebuchadnezzar's golden image ; but 
why do men continue to practise themselves the ab- 
surdities they despise in others ? " 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



157 



The Revolution and Hanover succession had been 
objects of the highest veneration to the old Whigs^" 
They thought them not only proofs of the sober and 
steady spirit of liberty which guided their ancestors, 
but of their wisdom and provident care of posterity. 
The modern Whigs have quite other notions of these 
events and actions. Tliey do not deny that Mr. Burke 
has given truly the words of the acts of Parliament 
whicli secured the succession, and the just sense of 
them. They attack not him, but the law. 

"Mr Burke" (say they) "has done some service, 
not to his cause, but to his country, by bringing those 
clauses into public view. They serve to demonstrate 
how necessary it is at all times to watch against the 
attempted encroachment of power, and to prevent its 
running to excess. It is somewhat extraordinary, 
that the offence for which James the Second was ex- 
pelled, that of setting up power by asmmption, should 
be re-acted, under another sliape and form, by the 
Parliament that expelled him. It shows that the 
rights of man were but imperfectly understood at 
the Revolution ; for certain it is, that the right which 
that Parliament set up by assumption (for by delega- 
tion it had it not, and could not liave it, because 
none could give it) over the persons and freedom 
of posterity forever, was of the same tyrannical un- 
founded'kind which James attempted to set up over 
the Parliament and the nation, and for which he was 
expelled. The only difference is, (for in principle 
they differ not,) that the one was an usurper over the 
living, and the other over the unborn ; and as the 
one has no better authority to stand upon tlian the 
other, both of them must be equally null and void, 
and of no effect." 




158 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



1 i 




8 



"As the estimation of all things is by comparison, 
the Revolution of 1688, however from circumstances 
it may have been exalted beyond its value, will find 
its level. It is already on the wane, eclipsed by the 
enlarging orb of reason and the luminous Revolu- 
tions of America and France. In less than another 
century, it will go, as well as Mr. Burke's labors, ' to 
the family vault of all the Capulets.' Mankind tvill 
then scarcely believe that a country calling itself free 
would send to Holland for a man and clothe him with 
power on purpose to put themselves in fear of him, and 
give him almost a million sterling a year for leave to 
submit themselves and their posterity like bondmen and 
bondwomen forever." 

Mr. Burke having said that "the king holds liis 
crown in contempt of the choice of the Revolution 
Society, who individually or collectively have not" 
(as most certainly they have not) " a vote for a king 
amongst them," they take occasion from thence to 
infer that the king who does not hold his crown by 
election despises the people. 

" ' The king of England,' says he, ' holds his crown ' 
(for it does not belong to the nation, according to Mr. 
Burke) ' in contempt of the choice of the Revolution 
Society,' " &c. 

" As to who is king in England or elsewhere, or 
whether there is any king at all, or whether the peo- 
ple choose a Cherokee chief or a Hessian hussar for 
a king, it is not a matter that I trouble myself about, 
— be that to themselves ; but with respect to the doc- 
trine, so far as it relates to the riglits of men and 
nations, it is as abominable as anything ever uttered 
in the most enslaved country under heaven. Wlieth- 
er it sounds worse to my ear, by not being accus- 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



159 



tomed to hear such despotism, than what it does to 
the ear of another person, I am not so well a judge 
of; but of its abominable principle I am at no loss to 
judge." 

These societies of modern Whigs push their inso- 
lence as far as it can go. In order to prepare the 
minds of the people for treason and rebellion, they 
represent the king as tainted with principles of des- 
potism, from the circumstance of his having domin- 
ions in Germany. In direct defiance of the most 
notorious truth, they describe his government tliere 
to be a despotism ; whereas it is a free Constitution, 
m which the states of the Electorate have their part 
in the government : and this privilege has never been 
infringed by the king, or, that I have heard of, by 
any of his predecessors. The Constitution of the 
Electoral dominions has, indeed, a double control, 
both from the laws of the Empire and from the 
privileges of the country. Whatever riglits the king 
enjoys as Elector have been always parentally exer- 
cised, and the calumnies of these scandalous societies 
have not been authorized by a single complaint of 
oppression. 

" When Mr. Burke says that ' his Majesty's heirs 
and successors, each in their time and order, will 
come to the crown with the same contempt of their 
choice with which his Majesty has succeeded to that 
he wears,' it is saying too much even to the humblest 
individual in the country, part of whose daily labor 
goes towards making up tlie million sterling a year 
which the country gives the person it styles a king. 
Government with insolence is despotism ; but when 
contempt is added, it becomes worse ; and to pay for 
contempt is the excess of slavery. This species of 



f.. 



H 



If 



£^ 



160 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



gOTernment comes from Germany, and reminds me 
of what one of the Brunswick soldiers told me, who 
was taken prisoner by the Americans in the late war. 
' Ah ! ' said he, ' America is a fine free country : it is 
wortli the people's fighting for. I know the differ- 
ence by knowing my own : in my country, if the prince 
says, '*IIat straw," we eat ttraw.* God help that coun- 
try, thought I, be it England, or elsewhere, whose 
liberties are to be protected by German principles of 
government and princes of Brunswick! " 

" It is somewhat curious to observe, that, althouf h 
the people of England have been in the habit of talk- 
ing about kings, it is always a foreign house of 
kings, — hating foreigners, yet governed by them. 
It is now the House of Brunswick, one of the petty 
tribes of Germany." 

" If government be what Mr. Burke describes it, 
' a contrivance of human wisdom,' I might ask him 
if wisdom was at such a low ebb in England that it 
was become necessary to import it from Holland and 
from Hanover ? But I will do the country the jus- 
tice to sa7, that was not the rase ; and even if it was, 
it mistook the cargo. The wisdom of every country, 
when properly exerted, is sufficient for all its purpos- 
es ; and there could exist no more real occasion in Eng- 
land to have sent for a Butch Stadtholder or a German 
Elector than there was in i\jnerica to have done a 
similar thing. If a country does not understand its 
own affairs, how is a foreigner to understand them, 
whc knows neither its laws, its mann-^rs, nor its lan- 
guage ? If there existed a man so transcendently 
wise above all others that his wisdom was necessary 
to instruct a nation, some reason might be offered for 
monarcii/ ; but when we cast our eyes about a coun- 



TO THE OLD WHI08. 



161 



t^, and observe how everj part understands its own 
affairs and when we look around the world, and see, 
that, of all men in it, the race of kiiigs are the most 
uisigTiificant in capacity, our reason cannot faU to ask 
us, What are those men kept for '( " • 

These are the notions which, under the idea of 
Whig principles, several persons, and among them 
persons of no mean mark, have associated themselves 
to propagate I will not attempt in the smallest 
degree to refute them. This will probably be done 
(If such writings shall be thought to deserve any 
other ban the refutation of criminal justice) by oth- 
era, wlio may think with Mr. Burke. He has per- 
lormed his part. 

I do not wish to enter very much at large into 
the discussions which diverge and ramify i.i all ways 
from this productive subject. But there is one top- 
ic upon which I hope I shall be excused in -roing a 
little beyond my design. The factions now so busy 
amongst us, in order to divest men of all love for 
^heir country, and to remove from their minds all 
duty with regard to the state, endeavor to propagate 
un opinion, that the people, in forming their common- 
wealth, have by no means parted with their power 
over It. This is an impregnable citadel, to which 
these gentlemen retreat, whenever they are pushed by 
the battery of laws and usages and positive conven- 
t ions Indeed, .t k such, and of so great force, that 

tl t7- ??^ '" ^'^^'"^"'^^ *^«'r «"t^orks is so 

much time and labor thrown away. Discuss any of 
their schemes, their answer is. It is the act of the 

JJei"'"'"" °' "' '''«'" "' '''"' ^««>°"--dcd by the ,eve«J 

VOL. IV, II 



■aai 



i 





it- ■ \ 



162 



APPEAL PBOM THB NEW 



people, and tliat is sufficient. Are we to deny to a 
majority of the people the right of altering even the 
whole framfe of their society, if such should bo their 
pleasure? They may change it, say they, from a 
monarchy to a republic to-day, and to-morrow back 
again from a republic to a monarchy ; and so back- 
ward and forward as often as they like. They are 
masters of the commonwealth, because in substance 
tlicy are themselves the commonwealth. Tlie French 
Revolution, say they, was the act of the majority of 
the people ; and if tlio majority of any other people, 
the people of England, for instance, wish to make the 
same change, they have the same right. 

Just the same, undoubtedly. That is, none at all. 
Neither the few nor the many have a right to act 
merely by their will, in any matter connected with 
duty, trust, engagement, or obligation. The Consti-' 
tution of a country being once settled upon some 
compact, tacit or expressed, there is no power exist- 
ing of force to alter it, without the breach of the cov- 
enant, or tlie consent of all Lhe parties. Such is the 
nature of a contract. And the votes of a majority 
of the people, whatever their infamous I'atterers may 
teach in order to corrupt their minds, cannot aV^'i- 
the moral any more than they can alter the , uy ical 
essence of things. The people are not to be taught 
to think lightly of their engagements to their gov- 
ernors; else they teach governors to think lightly 
of their engagements towards them. In that kind 
of game, in the end, the people are sure to be losors. 
To flatter them into a contempt of faith, truth, and 
justice is to ruin them ; for in these virtues consists 
their whole safety. To flatter any man, or any part 
of mankind, in any description, by asserting that in 



TO THE OLD WHI08. 



168 



engagements he or they are free, whilst any other Im- 
man creature is bound, is ultimately to rest tho rule 
of morality in the pleasure of those who ought to be 
ngidly submitted to it, -to subject the sovereign 
reason of the world to the caprices of weak and giddy 
men. * ■' 

But, as no one of us men can dispense with public 
or private faith, or with any other tie of moral obliga- 
tion, so neither can any number of us. The number 
engaged In crimes, mstead of turning them into laud- 
able acts, only augments the quantity and inten^ty 
of the guilt. I am well aware that men love to hear 
of tlie r power, but have an extreme disrelish to be 
told of their duty. This is of course ; because every 
duty IS a limitation of some power. Indeed, arbitra- 
ry power is so much to the depraved taste of the vul- 
gar of the vulgar of every description, that almost all 
the dissensions which lacorate the commonwealth are 
not concerning the manner in which it is to be exer- 
cised, but concerning the hands in which it is to be 
placed. Somewhere they are resolved to have it 
Whether they desire it to be vested in the many or 
the few depends with most men upon tho chance 
wiich they imagine they thcmselveF may have of par- 
taking in the exercise of that arbitrary sway, in the 
one mode or in the other. 

It is not necessary to teach men to thirst after 
power. But it is very expediert that by moral in- 
structiou tliey should be taught, and by their civil 
constitutions they should be compelled, to put many 
restrictions upon the immoderate exercise of it, and/ 
the inordinate desire. The best method of obtaining 
these two great points forms the important, but at 
the same time the difficult problem to the true states- 



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APPEAL PBOM THE NEW 



man. He thinks of the place in which political pow- 
er is to be lodged with no other attention than as it 
may render the more or the less practicable its salu- 
tary restraint and its prudent direction. For this 
reason, no legislator, at any period of the world, has 
willingly placed the seat of active power in the hands 
of the muliitude ; because there it admits of no con- 
trol, no regulation, no steady direction whatsoever. 
\ The people are the natural control on authority ; but 
to exercise and to control together is contradictory 
and impossible. 

As the exorbitant exercise of power cannot, un- 
der popular sway, be effectually restrained, the other 
great object of political arraiigement, the means of 
abating an excessive desire of it, is in such a state 
still worse provided for. The democratic common- 
wealth is the foodful nurse of ambition. Under the 
other forms it meets with many restraints. When- 
ever, in states which have had a democratic basis, the 
legislators have endeavored to put restraints upon 
ambition, their methods were as violent as in the 
end they were ineffectual, — as violent, indeed, as any 
the most jealous despotism could invent. The ostra- 
cism could not very long save itself, and much less 
the state which it was meant to guard, from the at- 
tempts ol ambition, — one of the natural, inbred, incu- 
rable distempers of a powerful democracy. 

But to return from this short digression, — which, 
however, is not wholly foreign to the question of the 

Loffopf nf fii fl YfW l "f t i li n mn j ""*T "p"" ^''° <'"'•"' "^ ^^'^ 
fixistence of their society. I caimot too often recom- 
mend it to the seriou--, consideration of all men who 
think civil society to be within the province of moral 
jurisdiction, that, if we owe to it any duty, it is not 



mmm^ 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



165 



subject to our will. Duties are not voluntary. Duty 
and will are even contradictory terms. Now, tbough 
civil society might be at first a voluntary act, (which 
in many vases it undoubtedly was,) its continuance 
is under a permanent standing covenant, coexisting 
with the society ; and it attaches upon every individ- 
ual of that society, without any formal act of his own. 
This is warranted by the general practice, arising 
out of the general sense of mankind. Men without 
their choice derive benefits from that association ; 
without their choice they are subjected to duties 
in consequence of these benefits ; and without their 
choice they enter into a virtual obligation as binding 
as any that is actual. Look through the whole of life 
and the whole system of duties. Much the strongest 
moral obligations are such as were never the results 
of our option. I allow, that, if no Supreme Ruler 
exists, wise to form, and potent to enforce, the moral 
law, there is no sanction to any contract, virtual or 
even actual, against the will of prevalent power. On 
that hypothesis, let any set of men be strong enough 
to set their duties at defiance, and they cease to 
be duties any longer. We have but this one ap- 
peal against irresistible power, — 

Si genus humanam et mortalia temnitis arma, 
At sperate Deos memores fandi atque nefandi. 

Taking it for granted that I do not write to the dis- 
ciples of the Parisian philosophy, I may assume that 
the awful Author of our being is the Author of our 
place in the order of existence, — and that, having 
disposed and marshalled us by a divine tactic, not 
according to our will, but according to His, He has 
in and by that disposition virtually subjected us 
to act the part which belongs to the place assigned 



166 



APPEAL FBOU THE NEW 



I 






us. Wc have obligations to mankind at large, which 
are not in consequence of any special voluntary pact. 
They arise from the relation of man to man, and the 
relation of man to God, which relations are not mat- 
ters of choice. On the contrary, the force of all the 
pacts which we enter into with any particular per- 
son or number of persons amongst mankind depends 
upon those prior obligations. In some cases the sub- 
ordinate relations are voluntary, in others they are 
ueces^.sary, — but the duties are all compulsive. When 
we marry, the choice is voluntary, but the duties are 
not matter of choice : they are dictated by the na- 
ture of the situation. Dark and uiscrutable are the 
ways by which we come into the world. The in- 
stincts which give rise to this mysterious process of 
Nature are not of our making. But out of physical 
causes, unknown to us, perhaps unknowable, arise 
moral duties, which, as we are able perfectly to com- 
prehend, we are bound indispensably to perform. 
Parents may not be consenting to their moral rela- 
tion ; but, consenting or not, they are bound to a 
long train of burdensome duties towards those with 
whom they have never made a convention of any 
sort. Children are not consenting to their relation ; 
but their relation, without their actual consent, binds 
them to its duties, — or rather it implies their consent, 
because the presumed consent of every rational crea- 
ture is in unison with the predisposed order of things. 
Men come in that manner into a community with the 
social state of their parents, endowed with all the 
benefits, loader" vith all the duties of their situation. 
If the social ties and ligaments, spun out of those 
physical relations which are the elements of the com- 
monwealth, in most cases begin, and always contuiue, 



'i ! 



w 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



167 



independently of our will, so, without any stipulation 
on our own part, are we bound by that relation called 
our country, which comprehends (as it has been well 
said) " all the charities of aU." * Nor are we left 
without powerful instincts to make this duty as dear 
and grateful to us as it is awful and coercive. Our 
country is not a thing of mere physical locality. It 
consists, in a great measure, in the ancient order 
into which we are born. We may have the same 
geographical situation, but another country ; as we 
may have the same country in another soil. The 
place that determines our duty to our country is a 
social, civil relation. 

These are tho opuiions of the author whose cause I 
defend. I lay them down, not to enforce them upon 
others by disputation, but as an accotmt of his pro- 
ceedings. On them he acts; and from them he is 
convinced that neither he, nor any man, or number 
of men, have a right (except what necessity, whicli 
is out of and above all rule, rather imposes than be- 
stows) to free themselves from that prunary engage- 
ment into which every man born into a community 
as much contracts by his being born into it as he 
contracts an obligation to certain parents by his hav- 
ing been derived from their bodies. The place of 
every man determines his duty. If you ask, Quern 
te Deus ease jusaitf you will be answered wL-u 
you resolvfc this other question, Humana qua par*e 
bcatus es in ref* 

1 admit, indeed, that '"n morals, as in all things 
else, difficulties will sometimes ocir. Duties will 
sometimes cross one another. Then questions will 

• " Omnes Cinniam charitates patria una complecti'ur." — Ci 

t A few lines in Fersius contain a good snmmary of all the ob) -ti 



w^ 



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168 



APPEAL FROM THE IfEW 



J I 



arise, which of them is to be placed in subordination? 
which of them may be entirely superseded ? These 
doubts give rise to that part of moral science called 
caauUtry, which though necessary to be well stud'ed 
by those who would become expert in that learning, 
who aim at becoming what I think Cicero some- 
where calls artifices offidorum, it requires a very 
solid and discriminating judgment, great modesty 
and caution, and much sobriety of mind in the 
handling ; else there is a danger that it may totally 
subvert those offices which it is its object only to 
methodize and reconcile. Duties, at their extreme 
bounds, are drawn very fine, so as to become almost 
evanescent. In that state some shade of doubt will 
always rest on these questions, when they are pur- 
sued with great subtilty. But the very habit of stat- 
ing these extreme cases is not very laudable or safe ; 
because, in general, it is not right to turr our duties 
inta doubts. They are imposed to govern our con- 
duct, not to exercise our ingenuity; and therefore 
our opinions about them ought not to be in a state 
of fluctuation, but steady, sure, and resolved. 

Amongst theso nice, and therefore dangerous points 
of casuistry, may be reckoned the question so much 
agitated in the present hour, — Whether, after the 
people have discharged themselves of their original 
power by an habitual delegation, no occjEision. _can 

of moral investigation, and hint the result of our inquiry : There hu- 
man will has no place. 

Quid tumult et quidnara victuri gignimurt ordo 
Qr:s datut t et meta quia mollis flexus, et uiide ? 
Qnis modus argeiito ? Quid/ow optareT Quid asper 
Utile nummus hnbet ? Patiitn charitque propinquit 
Quantum elargirideftetf Quem te Deus esse 
Ju$dt t et humana qua parto locatut e* in re ? 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



169 



possibly occur which may justify the resumption of 
it ? This question, in this latitude, is y hard to 
aflSrm or deny : but I am satisfied tlipt : . ocoasion 
can justify such a resumption, which would not 
equally authorize a dispensation with any other mor- 
al duty, perhaps wiih all of them together. How- 
ever, if in general it be not easy .0 determine . n- 
cerning the lawfulness of such devious proceedings, 
which must be ever on the edge of crimes, it is far 
from difficult to foresee the perilous consequences of 
the resuscitation of such a power in tlie people. The 
practical consequences of any political tenet {;o a 
great way in deciding upon its value. Political prob-"" 
lems do not primarily concern truth or falsehood. 
They relate to good or evil. Wliat in the result is ' 
likely to produce evil is poli false ; that which 

is productive of good, politically true. 

Believing it, therefore, a question at least arduous 
in the theory, and in the practice very critical, it 
would become us to ascertain as well as we can 
what form it is that our incantations are about to 
call up from darkness and the sleep of ages. When 
the supreme authority of 'he people is in question, 
before ro attempt to es*end or to confine it, we 
ought to fix in our minds, with some degree of dis- 
tinctness, an idea of what it is we mean, when we 
say, the people. 

In a state of rude Nature there is no such thing as 
a people. A number of men in themselves have no 
collective capacity. The idea of a people is tlio idea 
01' a corporation. It is wholly artificial, and made, V 
like all other legal fictions, by common agreement. 
What the particuh r nature of that agreement was 
is collected from the form into wiiich the particular 



■^^ 



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170 



APPEAL FBOM THE VZW 




I 



society has been cast. Any other is not their coy- 
euant. When men, therefore, break up the original 
compact or agreement which gives its corporate form 
and capacity to a state, they are no longer a people, — 
they have no longer a corporate existence, — they have 
no longer a legal coactive force to bind within, nor 
a claim to be recognized abroad. They are a num- 
ber of vague, loose individuals, and nothing mo^ '.. 
With them all is to begin again. Alas ! they li*t ■ 
know how many a weary step is to be taken befi ; 
they can form themselves into a mass which has 
true politic personality. 

We hear much, from men who have not acquired 
their hardiness of assertion from the profundity of 
their thinking, about the omnipotence of a majority, 
in such a dissolution of an ancient society as hath tak- 
en place in France. But amongst men so disbanded 
there can be no such thing as majority or minority, 
or power in any one person to bind another. The 
power of acting by a majority, which the gentlemen 
theorists seem to assume so readily, after they have 
violated the contract out of which it has arisen, (if at 
all it existed,) must be grounded on two assump- 
tions: first, that of an incorporation produced by 
unanimity ; and secondly, an unanimous agreement 
that the act of a mere majority (say of one) shall pass 
with them and with others as the act of the whole. 

We are so little affected by things which are habit- 
ual, that we consider this idea of the decision of a 
\j majority as if it were a law of our original nature. 
But such construct'*''e whole, residing in a part only, 
is one of the most v. 'ent fictions of positive law that 
ever has been or can be made on the principles of 
artificial incorporation. Out of civil society Nature 






TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



171 



knows nothing of it; nor are men, even when ar- 
ranged according to civil order, otherwise than by 
very long training, brought at all to submit to it. 
The mind is brought far more easily to acquiesce in 
the proceedings of one man, or a few, who act i"i 'or 
a general procuration for the state, than in the v -.e 
of a victorious majority in coimcils in wliich eve.y 
man has his share in the deliberation. For there the 
beaten party are exasperated and soured by the pre- 
vious coif te^ition, and mortified by tlie conclusive de- 
feat, xnis mode of decision, where wills may be so 
nearly equal, where, according to circumstances, the 
smaller number may be ♦^he stronger force, and where 
apparent reason may be all upon one side, and on the 
other little else than impetuous appetite, — all this 
must be the result of a very particular and special 
convention, confirmed afterwards by long habits of 
obedience, by a sort of discipline in society, and by a 
strong hand, vested with stationary, permanent pow- 
er to enforce this sort of constructive general will. 
What organ it is that shall declare the corporate 
mind is so much a matter of positive arrangement, 
tliat several states, for the validity of several of their 
acts, have required a proportion of voices much 
greater tlian that of a mere majority. These pro- 
portions are so entirely governed by convention that 
in some cases the minority decides. Tlie laws in 
many countries to condemn require mco than a mere 
majority ; less than an equal numbei to acquit. In 
our judicial trials we require unanimity either to con- 
demn or to absolve. In some incorporations one man 
speaks for the whole ; in others, a few. Until the 
other day, in the Constitution of Poland unanimity 
was required to give validity to any act of their great 



nr 



172 



AW^^AL FROM THE NEW 



* !•} 



I 
i 1 

i 

111 i 



n 



national council or diet. Tliis approaches much more 
nearly to rude Nature than the institutions of any 
other country. Sucli, indeed, every commonwealth 
must be, without a positive law to recognize in a cer- 
tain number the will of the entire body. 

If men dissolve their ancient incorporation in or- 
der to regenerate their community, m that state of 
things eacli man has a right, if he ^ ^ses, to remain 
an individual. Any number of individuals, who can 
agree upon it, have an undoubted right to form them- 
selves into a state apart and wholly independent. 
If any of these is forced into tlie fellowship of another, 
this is conquest and not compact. On every princi- 
ple which supposes society to be in virtue of a free 
covenant, this compulsive incorporation must be null 
and void. 

As a people can have no right to a corporate capaci- 
ty without universal consent, so neither have they a 
right to hold exclusively any lands in the name and 
title of a corporation. On the scheme of the present 
rulers in our neighboring country, regenerated as 
they are, they have no more right to the territory 
called France than I have. I have a right to pitch 
my tent in any unoccupied place I can find for it; 
and I may apply to my own maintenance any part 
of their unoccupied soil. I may purchase the house 
or vineyard of any individual proprietor who refuses 
his consent (and most proprietors have, as far as they 
dared, refused it) to the new incorporation. I stand 
in his independent place. Who are tnese insolent 
men, calling themselves the French nation, that would 
monopolize this fair domain of Nature ? is it because 
they speak a certain jargon ? Is it their mode of chat- 
tering, to me unintelligible, that forms their title to 



TO THE OLD WRI08. 



178 



my land ? Wlio arc they who claim hy prescription 
and descent from certain gangs of banditti called 
Franks, and Burgundians, and Visigoths, of wliom I 
may have never heard, and ninety-nine out of an hun- 
dred of themselves certainly never have heard, whilst 
at the very time they tell mo that prescription and 
long possession form no title to property ? Who are 
they that presume to assert that the land which I 
purchased of the individual, a natural person, and not 
a fiction of state, belongs to them, who in the very 
capacity in which they make their claim can exist 
only as an imaginary being, and in virtue of the vo'/ 
prescription which they reject and disown ? This 
mode of arguing might be pushed int(' all the detail, 
60 as to leave no sort of doubt, that, on their princi- 
ples, and on the sort 3f footing on which they have 
thought proper to place themselves, the crowd of 
r ;n, on the other side of the Channel, who have the 
impudence to call themselves a people, can n«jver be 
the lawft , exclusive possessors of the soil. By what 
they call reasoning without prejudice, tbf^y leave not 
one stone upon another in tlie fabric of human socie- 
ty. They subvert all the authority which they hold, 
as woU as all that which they have destroyed. 

As in the abstract it is perfectly clear, that, out 
of a state of civil society, majority and minority are 
relations which can have no existence, and that, in 
civil society, its own specific conventions in each cor- 
poration determine what it is that constitutes the peo- 
ple, so as to make their act the signification of the 
general will, — to come to particulars, it is equally 
clear that neither in France nor in England has the 
original or any subsequent compact cf the state, ex- 
pressed or implie " constituted a majority of men, told 



I 



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Fi 



II 



ii 



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174 



APPEAL PROM THE NEW 



hy the head, to be the acting people of their several 
communities. And I see as little of policy or utility 
as there is of right, in laying down a principle that 
a majority of men told by the head are to be consid- 
ered as the people, and that as such their will is 
to be law. What policy can there be found in ar- 
rangements made in defiance of every political prin- 
ciple ? To enable men to act with the weight and 
character of a people, and to answer the ends lor 
wliich they are incorporated into that capacity, we 
must suppose them (by means immediate or conse- 
quential) to be in that state of habitual social disci- 
pline in which the wiser, the more expert, and the 
more opulent conduct, and by conducting enlighten 
and protect, the weaker, the less knowing, and the 
less provided with the goods of fortune. When the 
multitude are not under this discipline, they can 
scarcely bo said to be in civil society. Give once 
a certain constitution of things which produces a 
variety of conditions and circumstances in a state, 
and there is in Nature and reason a principle which, 
for their own benefit, postpones, not the inttiest, but 
the judgment, of those who are numero plures, to those 
who are virtute et honore majores. Numbers in a state 
(supposing, which is not the case in Frame, that a 
state does exist) are always of consideration, — but 
they are not the whole consideration. It is in things 
more serious than a play, that it may l^ truly said. 
Satis est equitem mihi plaudere, 

4-true natural aristnc tacy is not a separate inter- 
est in the state, or separable from it. It i s an essen tial 
int ggrant part of any l arge body rightly coiistitu rnH"' 
It is formed out of a class of legitimate presumptions, 
which, taken as generalities, must be admitted for 



r^wt»- 



TO THE OLD WBIOS. 



176 



actual truths. To be bred iu a place of estimation ; 
to see notliing low and sordid from one's infancy ; to 
be taught to respect one's self; to bo liabituatod to 
the censorial inspection of the public eye; to look 
early to pullic opinion ; to stand upon such elevated 
ground as to be enabled to take a lurgo view of the 
wide-spread and inh., "^ly diversif coiubinations of 
men and affairs in a large society ; have leisure to 
read, to reflect, to convers.; ; to be enabled to draw 
the court and attention of '..o nise and learned, wher- 
ever they are '■■•■ be founu \'^ be habituated in ar- 
mies to coramp ' and to oLjy; to be taught to de- 
spise danger in the pursuit of honor and duty ; to bo 
formed to the greatest degree of vigilance, foresight, 
and circumspection, in a state of things in which no 
fault is committed with impunity and the sliglitcst 
mistakes draw on the most ruinous consequences ; 
to be led to a guarded and regulated conduct, from 
a sense that you are considered as an instructor of 
your fellow-citizens in their highest concerns, and 
that you act as a reconciler between God and man ; 
to be employed as an administrator of law and jus- 
tic "d to be thereby amongst the first benefactors 
t- ^ ikind ; to bo a professor of high science, or 
of liberal and ingenuous art; to be amongst rich 
traders, who from their success are presumed to have 
sharp and vigorous understandings, ana to possess the 
virtues of diligence, order, constancy, and regularity, 
and to have cultivated an habitual regard to commu- 
tative justice : these are the circumstances of men 
that form what I should c...l a natural aristocracy, 
without which there is no nation. 

The state of civil society which necessarily gener- 
ates this aristocracy is a state of Nature, A- and much 



J 



IHI 




^!:S- 



;■': 



176 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



more truly so than a savage and incoherent mode of 
life. For man is by nature reasonable ; and he is 
never perfectly in his natural stato. but when he is 
placed where reason may be best cu ltivated and most 
predominates. / Art is man's naturer \"We are as much, 
at least, in a state of Nature in formed manhood as 
in immature and helpless infancy. Men, qualified in 
the manner I have just described, form in Nature, as 
she operates in the common modification of society, 
the leading, guiding, and governing part. It is the 
soul to the body, without which the man does not 
exist. To give, therefore, no more importance, in 
the social order, to such descriptions of men than 
, that of so many units is a horrible usurpation. 
1 When great multitudes act together, under that 
I discipline of Nature, I recognize the people. I 
acknowledge something that perhaps equals, and 
ought always to guide, the sovereignty of conven- 
tion. In all things the voice of this grand chorus 
of national harmony ought to have a mighty and 
decisive influence. But when you disturb this har- 
mony,— wlien you break up this beautiful order, this 
array of truth and Nature, as well as of habit and pre- 
judice,— when you separate the common sort of men 
from their proper chieftains, so as to form them into 
an adverse army, — I no longer know that venera- 
ble object called the people in such a disbanded race 
of deserters and vagabonds. For a while they may 
be terrible, indeed, — but in such a manner as wild 
beasts are terrible. The mind owes to them no sort 
of submission. They are, as they have always been 
reputed, rebels. They may lawfully be fought with, 
and brought under, whenever an advantage offers. 
Those who attempt by outrage and violence to de- 



I'll 



I 



I |. 



■n 



TO THE OLD WmOS. 



17T 



men of 



advantage 



which they hold under 
the laws, and to destroy the natural order of life, pro- 
claim war against them. 

We have read mi history of that furious insurrec- 
tion of the common people in France called the Jao- 
querie: for this is not the first time that the people 
have been enlightened into treason, murder, and rap- 
ine. Its object was to extirpate the gentry. The 
C^ptal de Buch, a famous soldier of those days, dis- 
honored the name of a gentleman and of a man by 
taking, for their cruelties, a cruel vengeance on these 
deluded wretches : it was, however, his right and his 
duty to make war upon them, and afterwards, in 
moderation, to bring them to punishment for their 
rebellion ; though in the sense of the French Revo- 
lution, and of some of our clubs, they were the peo- 
ple,— and were truly so, if you will call by that ap- 
pellation ant/ majority of men told by the head. 

At a time not very remote from the same period 
(for these humors never have affected one of the 
nations without some influence on the other) Imp- 
pened several risings of the lower commons in Eng- 
land. These insurgents were certainly the majority 
of the inhabitants of the counties m which they re- 
sided; and Cade, Ket, and Straw, at the head of 
their national guards, and fomented by certain trai- 
tors of high rank, did no more than exert, according 
to the doctrines of ours and the Parisian societies, 
the sovereign power inherent in the majority. 

"We call the time of those events a dark age. In- 
deed, we are too indulgent to our own proficiency. 
The Abbd John Ball understood the rights of man 
as well as the Abbd Gr^goire. That reverend patri- 
arch of sedition, and prototype of our modern preach- 



TOL. IV. 



IS 



m 



3 I 
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178 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



ers, was of opinion, with the National Assembly, that 
all the evils which have fallen upon men had been 
caused by an ignorance of their " having been born 
and continued equal as to their rights." Had the 
populace been able to repeat that profound maxim, 
all would have gone perfectly well with them. No 
tyranny, no vexation, no oppression, no care, no sor- 
row, could have existed in the world. This would 
have cured them like a charm for the tooth-ache. 
But the lowest wretches, in their most ignorant state, 
were able at all times to talk such stuff; and yet at 
all times have they suffered many evils and many 
oppressions, both before and since the republication 
by the National Assembly of this spell of healing po- 
tency and virtue. The enlightened Dr. Ball, when 
he wished to rekindle the lights and fires of his audi- 
ence on this point, chose for the text the following 
couplet: — 

When Adam delved and Eve span, 
Who was then the gentleman ? 

Of this sapient maxim, however, I do not give him 
for the inventor. It seems to have been handed 
down by tradition, and had certainly become prover- 
bial; but whether then composed or only applied, 
thus much must be admitted, that in learning, sense, 
energy, and comprehensiveness, it is fully equal to 
all the modern dissertations on the equality of man- 
kind : and it has one advantage over them, — that it 
is in rhyme.* 

• It is no small loss to the world, that tho whole of this enlight- 
ened and philosophic sermon, preached to tux) hundred thousand nation- 
al guards assembled at Blackheath (a number probably equal to tbe 
sublime and majestic Feddtation of the 14th of July, 1790, in the 
Champ de Mars) is not preserved. A short abstract is, however, to 



i T 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



179 



There is no doubt but that this great teacher of the 
rights of man decorated his discourse on this valuable 
text with lemmas, theorems, scholia, corollaries, and 
all the apparatus of science, which was furnished in 

be found in Walaingham. I have added it here for the edification of 
the modem Whigs, who may possibly except this precious little frag- 
ment fix)m their general contempt of ancient learning. 

"Ut suft doctrina plures inficeret, ad le Blackheth (ubi ducenta mil- 
lia hominnm communium fnere simnl congregata) hajnscemodi *er- 
monem est exorsus. 

" Whan Adam dalfe and Eve span, 
Who was than a gentleman ? 

Continnansqne sermonem inceptum, nitebatur per verba proverbii, 
quod pro themate snmpserat, introducere et probare, ah initio onme» 
pares creatos a naturd, servitutem per injustam oppressionem nequam 
hominum introductam contra Dei voluntatem, quia si Deo placuisset 
servos creftsse, ntiqne in principio mundi constituisset, quis servos, 
quisve dominus futnms fiiisset. Considerarent igitur jam tempos a 
Deo datum eis, in qoo (deposito servitotis jogo diutios) possent, si 
vellent, libertate din concupitft gandere. Quapropter monuit ut es- 
sent viri cordati, et amore boni patrisfamilias excolentis agrom suom, 
et extirpantis ac resecantis noxia gramina qu» irnges solent oppri- 
mere, et ipsi in prasenti facere festinarent. Primb majores ngni domi. 
no3 occidendo. Deinde jaridico$, justiciarios, et juratores patria perimendo. 
Postremo quoscunque scirent «n posterum communitati nocivos toUerent 
de terrd snft, sic demnm et pacem sibimet parerent et seairitatem in fo- 
tnrom. Si sublalis majoribus estel inter era cequa libertas, eadem nobilitaa, 
par dignitas, similisque potestas." 

Here is displayed at once the whole of the grand arcanum pretend- 
ed to be found out by the National Assembly, for securing future hap- 
piness, peace, and tranquillity. There seems, however, to be some 
doubt whether this venerable protomartyr of philosophy was inclined 
to carry his own declaration of the rights of men more rigidly into 
practice than the National Assembly themselves. He was, like them, 
only preaching licentioosness to the popuhice to obtain power for him- 
Mif, if we may believe what is subjoined by the historian. 

" Cumque hsBC etplwra alia ddiramenta " (think of tl s old fool's call- 
mg all the wise maxims of the French Academy ddv imenta!) "prie- 
dieisset, commune volgns earn tanto favore prosequitur, ut excla- 



180 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



!T 



ih 



I 



as great plenty and perfection out of the dogmatic 
and polemic magazines, the old horse-armory of the 
Schoolmen, among whom the Rev. Dr. Ball was bred, 
as they can be supplied from the new arsenal at Hack- 

marenl mm archiepiacopum Jutmvm, el ngni eaneellarium." Whether 
he would have taken these aituationg nnder these names, or wonld 
have changed the whole nomenclature of the State and Chn.ch, to 
be understood in the bonse of the Revolation, is not so certain. It is 
probable that he wonld have changed the names and kept the sub- 
stance of power. 

We find, too, that they had in those dajs their lociety far cotutita- 
tional information, of which the Reverend John Ball was a conspicuous 
member, sometimes under his own name, sometimes under the feigned 
name of John Schep. Besides him it consisted (as Knyghton tells 
us) of persons who went by the real or fictitious names of Jack Myl- 
ner, Tom Baker, Jack Straw, Jack Trewman, Jack Carter, and prob- 
ably of many more. Some of the choicest flowers of the publications 
charitably written and circulated by them gratis are upon record in 
Walsingham and Knyghton : and I am inclined to prefer the pithy 
and senteniious brevity of these InMetint of ancient rebellion before 
the loose and confused prolixity of the modem advertisements of con- 
stitutional information. They contain more good morality and less 
bad politics, they had much more foundation in real oppression, and 
they have the recommendation of being much better adapted to the 
capacities of those for whose instruction they were intended. What- 
ever laudable pains the teachers of the present day appear to take, I 
cannot compliment them so far as to allow that they have succeeded 
in writing down to the level of their pupils, tht members of the sovereig-.i, 
with half the ability of Jack Carter and the Reverend John Ball. 
Thnt my readers may judge for themselves, I shall give them one or 
two specimens. 

The first is an address from the Reverend John Ball, under his 
nom de guerre of John Schep. I know not against what particular 
" gnyle in borough " the writer means to caution the people , it may 
have been only a '»>neral cry against " rotten boroughs," which it was 
thought conveniem, then as now, to make the first pretext, and place 
at the head of the list of grievances. 

JOHK SCHBF. 

" lohn Schep sometime seint '' jy priest of Torke, and now of Col- 



! f 

■■a. 
: 1 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



181 






ney. It was, no doubt, disposed with all the adju- 
tancy of definition and division, in which ( I speak it 
with submission) the old marshals were as able as the 
modern martinets. Neither car* we deny tha- ihe 

cheater, greeteth well lohn Nameleasa, and lohn the Miller, and lohn 
Carter, and biddeth them that they beware of guyk in borcugh, and stand 
together in Grods name, and biddeth Piers Ploweman goe to his 
werke, and chastise well flb6 the robber, [probably the king,] and tnke 
with you lohn Trewman, ... 1 all his fellows, and no moe. 

"lohn the Miller hath yground smal, amall, small: 
The kings sonne of heauen ahal pay for all. 
Beware or ye be woe, 
Know your frende fro your foe, 
Haue ynongh, and say hoe: 
And do wel aud better, Sr, flee slnna, 
And leeke peace and holde you thirin, 

& so biddeth lohn Trewman & all his fellowea." 

The reader has j erceived, fifm the last lines of this cnrions state- 
paper, how well thi National Assembly haa copied its union of the 
profession of uniyersal peace with the practice of murder and confii- 
sion, and the blast of the trumpet of 8editio:i in all nations. Ifc will 
in the following constitutional paper observe how well, in their enig- 
matical style, like the Aasetibiy and their abetu>r8, the old philoso- 
phers proscribe all hereditary distinction, and bestow it only on virtue 
and wisdom, according to their estimation of both. Yet thtjo peo- 
ple are supposed never to have heard of " the rights of nan " ' 

Jack Mtlneb. 

" Jakke Mylner aske: help to tnme his myln i aright 

"He hath gronndeii smal Sicsl, 
The Kings sono of heven he aohal pay for alle. 

Loke thy mylne po a rygt, with the fonre sayles, and the post atandc 
in steadfaatneaso. 

" With rygt and with mygt, 
With akyl and with wylle, 
Lac mygt helpe rygt. 
And »kyl go before wille, 
Aud rygt before mygt : 
Than goth onre mylne aryght. 
And if mygt go before ryght, 



t ' 
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APPEAL 7B0M THE NEW 



1 ' 



1 i- 



philosophic auditory, when ihej had once obtained 
this knowledge, could never return to their former 
ignorance, or after so instructive a lecture be in the 
same state of mind as if they had never heard it.* 
But these poor people, who were not to bo envied for 
their knowledge, but pitied for their delusion, were 
not reasoned, (that was impossible,) but beaten, out of 
their lights. With their teacher they were delivered 
over to the lawyers, who wrote in their blood tho 
statutes of the land, as harshly, and in the same sort 
of ink, as they and their teachers had written the 
rights of man. 

Our doctors of the day are not so fo:id of quoting 
the opinions of this ancient sage as they are of imi- 
tating his conduct: first, because it might appear 
that they are not as great inventors as they would 
be thought ; and next, because, unfortunately for his 
fame, he was not successful. It is a remark liable 
to as few exceptions as any generality can be, that 
they who applaud prosperous folly and adore trium- 

And wylle before skylle ; 

Than is cure mylne mys a dygt" 
Jack Carter understood perfectly the doctrine of looking to the 
end, with an indiflFerence to the means, and the probability of much 
good arising from great evil. 

" Jakke Carter pryes yowe alle that ye make a gode ende of that 
ye hane begunnen, and doth wele and ay bettnr and bettar : for at 
the even men heryth the day. For if the ende be weU, than is aUe 
loate. Lat Peres the Plowman my brother dnelle at home and dygt 
ns corne, and I will go with yowe and helpe that y may to dygte 
yonre mete and youre drynke, that ye none fayle : lokke that Hobbe 
robbyoure be wele chastysed for lesyng of yonre grace : for ye have 
gret nede to take God with yowe in alle yonre dedes. For nowe is 
tyme to be war." 

• See the wise remark on thia subject in the Defence of Rights 
of Man, circulated by the societies. 



*. I ( 



TO THB OLD WHIGS. 



188 



phant guilt have never been known to succor or even 
to pity human weakness or offence, when they become 
subject to human vicissitude, and meet with punish- 
ment inster I of obtaining power Abating for their 
want of sensibility to the sufferings of their asso- 
ciates, they are not so much in the wrong ; for mad- 
ness and wickedness are things foul and deformed 
in themselves, and stand in need of all the coverings 
and trappings of fortune to recommend them to the 
multitude. Nothing can be more loathsome in their 
naked nature. 

Aberrations like these, whether ancient or modern, 
unsuccessful or prosperous, are things of passage. 
They furnish no argument for supposing a multitude 
told hy the head to be the people. Such a multitude 
can have no sort of title to alter the seat of power in 
the society, in which it ever ought to be the obedient, 
and not the ruling or presiding part. What power 
may belong to the whole mass, in which mass the 
natural ariitocracy, or what by convention is appoint- 
ed to represent and strengthen it, acts in its proper 
place, with its proper weight, and without being sub- 
jected to violence, is a deeper question. But in that 
case, and with that concurrence, I should have much 
doubt whether any rash or desperate changes in the 
state, such as we have seen in France, could ever be 
effected. 

I have said that in all political questions the con- 
sequences of any assumed rights aro of great mo- 
ment in deciding upon their validity. In this point 
of view let us a little scrutinize the effects of a right 
in the mere majority of the inhabitants of any coun- 
try of superseding and altering their government at 
pleasure. 



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184 







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APPBAIi FBOM THE NEW 



# 



The sum total of every people is composed of its 
units. Every individual must have a right to origi- 
nate what afterwards is to become the act of the ma- 
jority. Whatever he may lawfully originate he may 
lawfully endeavor to accomplish. He has a right, 
therefore, in his own particular, to break the ties and 
engagements which bind him to the country in which 
he lives ; and he has a right to make as many con- 
verts to his opinions, and to obtain as many asso- 
ciates in hi« designs, as he can procure : f >r how can 
you know the dispositions of the majority to destroy 
their government, but by tampering with some part 
of the body ? You must begin by a secret conspira- 
cy, that you may end with a national confederation. 
The mere pleasure of the beginner must be the sole 
guide ; since the mere pleasure of others must be the 
sole ultimate sanction, as well as the sole actuating 
principle in every part of the progress. Thus, arbi- 
trary will (the last corruption of ruling power) step 
by step poisons the heart of every citizen. If the 
undertaker fails, he has the misfortune of a rebel, 
but not the guilt. Ly such doctrines, . A love to our 
country, all pious veneration and attachment to its 
laws and customs, are obliterated from our minds ; 
and nothing can result from this opinion, when 
grown into a principle, and animated by discontent, 
ambition, or enthusiasm, but a series of conspiracies 
and seditions, sometimes ruinous to their authors, 
always noxious to the state. No sense of duty can 
prevent any man from being a leader or a follower 
in such enterprises. Nothing restrains the tempter ; 
nothing guards the tempted. Nor is the new state, 
fabricated by such arts, safer than the old. What 
can prevent the mere will of any person, who hopes 



TO THE OLO WmOS. 



185 



to unite the wills of others to his own, from an at- 
tempt wholly to overturn it ? It wants nothing but 
a disposition to trouble the established order, to give 
a title to the enterprise. 

When you combine this principle of the right to 
change a fixed and tolerable constitution o'* things at 
pleasure with the theory and practice of the French 
Assembly, the political, civil, aud moral irregularity 
are, if possible, aggravated. The Assembly have 
found another road, and a far more commodious, 
to the destruction of an old government, and the \ 
legitimate formation of a new one, than througli the 4^ 
previous will of the majority of what they call the 1 
people. Get, say they, the possession of power by ' 
any means you can into your hands ; and then a sub- 
sequent consent (what they call an address of adhe- 
sion) makes your authority as much the act of the 
people as if they had conferred upon you originally 
that kind and degree of power which witliout their 
permission you had seized upon. Tliis is to give a l,- 
direct sanction to fraud, hypocrisy, perjury, and the 
breach of the most sacred trusts that can exist be- 
tween man and man. What can sound with such 
horrid discordance in the moral ear as this position, 
— that a delegate with limited powers may break his 
sworn engagements to his constituent, assume an 
authority, never committed to him, to alter all things 
at his pleasure, aud then, if he can persuade a large 
number of men to flatter him in the power he has 
usurped, that he is absolved in his own conscience, 
and ought to stand acquitted in the eyes of mankind ? 
On this scheme, the maker of the experiment must 
begin with a determined perjury. That point is cer- 
tain. He must take his chance for the expiatory 



, 




186 



APPEAL FROM THB NEW 



addresses. This is to make the success of viUany the 
standard of innocence. 

Without drawing on, therefore, very shockmg con- 
sequences, neither by previous consent, nor by sub- 
sequent ratification of a mere reckoned majority, can 
any set of men attempt to dissolve the state at their 
pleasure. To apply this to our present subject. When 
the several orders, in their several bailliages, had met 
in the year 1789, (such of them, I mean, as had met 
peaceably and constitutionally,) to choose and to in- 
struct their represeniatives, so organized and so act- 
ing, (because they were organized and were acting 
according to the conventions which made them a peo- 
pie,) they were the people of France. They had a 
legal and a natural capacity to be considered as that 
people. But observe, whilst they were in this state, 
that is, wiiilst they were a people, in no one of 
tlieir instructions did they charge or evjn hint at 
any of those tilings which have drawn upon the 
usurping Assembly and their adherents the detesta- 
tion of the rational and thinking pa.t of mankini. 
I will venture to affirm, without the least appre- 
hension of being contradicted by any person who 
knows the then state of France, that, if any one of 
the changes were proposed, which form the funda- 
mental parts of their Revolution, and compose its 
most distinguishing acts, it would not have had one 
vote in twenty thousand in any order. Their in- 
structions purported the direct contrary to all those 
famous proceedings which are defended as the acts 
of the people. Had such proceedings been expected, 
V the great probabUity is, that the people would then 
have risen, as to a man, t^ .event them. The 
whole organization of the Asst.ably was altered, the 




TO TBI OLD WmOS. 



187 



whole frame of the kingdom was changed, before 
these things could be done. It is long to tell, by 



what evil 



of the 



conspirators, 

treme weakness und want uf steadiness in the lawful 
government, this equal usurpation on the rights of 
the prince and people, having first cheated, and then 
offered violence to both, has been able to triiunph, 
and to employ with success the forged signature of 
an imprisoned sovereign, and the spurious voice of 
dictated addresses, to a subsequent ratification of 
thuigs that had never received any previous sano 
tion, general or particular, expressed or implied, from 
the nation, (in whatever sense that word is taken,) 
or from any part of it. 

After the weighty and respectable part of the peo- 
ple had been murdered, or driven by the menaces of 
murder from their houses, or were dispersed in exile 
mto every country in Europe, — after the soldiery had 
been debauched from their officers, — after property 
had lost its weight and consideration, along with its 
security, — after voluntary clubs and associations of 
factious and unprincipled men were substituted in 
the place of all the ler- ' -norations of the kingdom 
arbitrarily dissolved / freedom Imd been ban- 

islied from those poj. t meetings* whose sole rec 
oramendation is freedom, — after it had come to that 
pass that no dissent dared to appear in air; nf them, 
but at the certain price of life, — after e\ v..i dissent 
had been anticipated, and assassination became as 
quick as suspicion, — such pretended ratification by 
addresses could be no act of what any lover of the 
people would choose to call by their name. Ii is tiiat 
voice which every successful usurpation, as well as 

* The primary assemblies. 




i ■ 

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188 



▲ppiAL noM THS mnr 



this before us, may easily procure, even without Jiak- 
ing (as these tyrants have made) douv ./es from the 
spoil of one part of the citizens to corrupt the other. 

The pretended right$ qfman, which have made this 
havoc, cannot be the rights of the people. For to be 
a people, and to have these rights, are things incom- 
patible. The one supposes the presence, the other the 
absence, of a state of civil society. The very founda- 
tion of the French commonwealth is false and self- 
destructive ; nor con its principles be adopted in any 
country, without the certainty of bringiug it to the 
very same condition in which France is found. At- 
tempts are made to introduce them into every nation 
in Europe. This nation, as possessing the greatest 
influence, they wish most to corrupt, as by that 
means they are assured the contagion must become 
general. I hope, therefore, I shall be excused, if I 
endeavor to show, as shortly as the matter will ad- 
mit, the danger of giving to them, either avowedly or 
tacitly, the smallest countenance. 

There ai-e times and circumstances in which not 
to speak out is at least to connive. Many think it 
enough for them, that the principles propagated by 
these clubs and societies, enemies to their country 
and its Constitution, are not owned by the modem 
Wliigs in Parliament, who are so warm in condemna- 
tion of Mi*. Burke and his book, and of course of all 
the principles of the ancient, constitutional Whigs 
of tliis kingdom. Certainly they are not owned. 
But are they condenuied with the same zeal as Mr. 
Burke and his book are condemned ? Are tliey con- 
demned at all ? Are they rejected or discounte- 
nanced in any way whatsoever? Is any man who 
would fairly examine into the demeanor and prin- 



TO THI OLD WBI08. 



189 



oiples of those societies, and that too rerj moder- 
ately, and in the way rathe • of admonition than of 
punishment, is such a man even decently treated? 
Is he not reproached as if n condemning such prin- 
ciples ho had belied the conduct of his whole life, 
suggesting that his life had bcun governed by prin- 
ciples similar to those which he now reprobates? 
The French system is in the me".n time, by many 
active agents out of doors, rapti ^usly praised ; the 
British Constitution is coldly tolerated. But these 
Constitutions are different both in the foundation and 
in the whole superstructure ; and it is plain that you 
cannot build up the one but on the ruins of the 
other. Aftei all, if the French be a supe.'ior sys- 
tem of liberty, why should we not adopt it ? To what 
end are our praises ? Is excellence held out to us 
only that we should not copy after it? And what 
is there in the manners of the peop)e, or in the cli- 
mate of Fn?,nce, which renders t.iat species of repub- 
lic fitted for them, and unsuitailiie to us ? A strong 
and marked difference between the two nations ought 
to be shown, before we can admit a constant, affected 
panegyric, a standing, annual commemoration, to be 
without any tendency to an example. 

But the leaders of party will not go the length of 
the doctrines taught by the seditious clubs. I am 
sure they do not mean to do so. God forbid ! Per- 
haps even those who are directly carrying on the 
work of this pernicious foreign faction do not all 
of them intend to produce all the mischiefs which 
must inevitably follow from their having any suc- 
cess in their proceedings. As to leaders in parties, 
nothing is more common than to see them blindly 
led. The world is governed by go-betweens. These 




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190 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



go-betweens influence the persons with whom they 
carry on the intercourse, by stating their own sense 
to each of them as the sense of the other ; and thus 
they reciprocally master both sides. It is first buzzed 
about the ears of leaders, " that their friends without 
doors are very eager for some measure, or very warm 
about some opinion,— that you must not be too rigid 
with them. They are useful persons, and zealous in 
the cause. They may be a little wrong, but the 
spirit of liberty must not be damped ; and by the 
influence you obtain from some degree of concur- 
rence with them at present, you may be enabled to 
set them right hereafter." 

Thus the leaders are at first drawn to a connivance 
with sentiments and proceedings often totally difier- 
ent from their serious and deliberate notions. But 
their acquiescence answers every purpose. 

With no better than such powers, the go-betweens 
assume a new representative character. What at 
best was but an acquiescence is magnified into an 
authority, and thence into a desire on the part of the 
leaders ; and it is carried down as such to the subor- 
dinate members of parties. By this artifice they in 
their turn are led into measures which at first, per- 
haps, few of them wished at all, or at least did not 
desire vehemently or systematically. 

There is in all parties, between the principal lead- 
ers in Parliament and the lowest followers out of 
doors, a middle sort of men, a sort of equestrian 
order, who, by the spirit of that middle situation, 
are the fittest for preventing things from running 
to excess. But indecision, though a vice of a totally 
different character, is the natural accomplice of vio- 
lence. The irresolution and tunidity of those who 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



191 



compose this middle order often prevents the effect 
of their controlling situation. The fear of differing 
with the authority of leaders on the one hand, and 
of contradicting the desires of the multitude on the 
other, induces them to give a careless and passive as- 
sent to measures in which they never were consulted ; 
and thus things proceed, by a sort of activity of inert- 
ness, until whole bodies, leaders, middle-men, and 
followers, are all hurried, with every appearance 
and with many of the effects of unanimity, into 
schemes of politics, in the substance of which no 
two of them were ever fully agreed, and the origin 
and authors of which, in this circular mode of com- 
munication, none of them find it possible to trace. 
In my experience, I have seen much of this in affairs 
which, though trifling in comparison to the present, 
were yet of some importance to parties ; and I have 
known them suffer by it. The sober part give their 
sanction, at first through inattention and levity ; at 
last they give it through necessity. A violent spirit 
is raised, which the presiding minds after a time 
find it impracticable to stop at their pleasure, to con- 
trol, to regulate, or even to direct. 

This shows, in my opinion, how very quick and 
awakened all men ought to be, who are looked up to 
by the public, and who deserve that confidence, to pre- 
vent a surprise on their opinions, when dogmas are 
spread and projects pursued by which the founda- 
tions of society may be affected. Before they listen 
even to moderate alterations in the government of 
their country, they ought to take care that principles 
are not propagated for that purpose which are too 
big for their object. Doctrines limited in their pres^ 
ent application, and wide in their general principles, 



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192 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



are never meant to be confined to what they at first 
pretend. If I were to form a prognostic of the effect 
of the present machinations on the people from their 
sense of any grievance they suffer under this Consti' 
tution, my mind would be at ease. But there is a 
wide difference between the multitude, when they 
act against their government from a sense of griev- 
ance or from zeal for some opinions. When men 
are thoroughly possessed with that zeal, it is difficult 
to calculate it? force. It is certain that its power is 
by no means in exact proportion to its reasonable- 
ness. It must always have been discoverable by per- 
sons of reflection, but it is now obvious to the world, 
that a theory concerning government may become as 
V much a cause of fanaticism as a dogma in religion. 
There is a boundary to men's passions, when they 
act from feeling ; none when they are under the in- 
fluence of imagination. Remove a grievance, and, 
when men act from feeling, you go a great way to- 
wards quieting a commotion. But the good or bad 
conduct of a government, the protection men have 
enjoyed or the oppression they have suffered under 
it, are of no sort of moment, when a faction, proceed- 
ing upon speculative grounds, is thoroughly heated 
against its form. When a man is from system furi- 
ous against monarchy or episcopacy, the good con- 
duct of the monarch or the bishop has no other ef- 
fect than further to irritate the adversary. He !s 
provoked at it as furnishing a plea for preserving th> 
thing which he wishes to destroy. His mind will be 
heated as much by the sight of a sceptre, a mace, or 
a verge, as if he had been daily bruised and wounded 
by these symbols of authority. Mere spectacles, mere 
names, will become sufficient causes to stimulate the 
people to wai' and tumult. 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



198 



Some gentlemen are not terrified by the facility 
with which government has been OTerturned in 
France. "The people of France," they say, "had 
nothing to lose in the destruction of a bad Constitu- 
tion ; but, though not the best possible, we have still a 
good stake in ours, which will hinder us from desper- 
ate risks." Is this any security at all against those 
who seem to persuade themselves, and who labor to 
persuade others, that our Constitution is an usurpa- 
tion in its origin, \mwise in its '"titrivance, mischiev- 
ous in its effects, contrary to tue rights of man, and 
in all its parts a perfect nuisance ? What motive has 
any rational man, who thinks in that manner, to spill 
his blood, or even to risk a shilling of hi- fortune, or 
to waste a moment of his leisure, to preserve it ? If 
he has any duty relative to it, his duty is to destroy 
it. A Constitution on sufferance is a Constitution 
condemned. Sentence is already passed upon it. 
The execution is only delayed. On the principles of 
these gentlemen, it neither has nor ought to have 
any security. So far as regards them, it is loft 
naked, without friends, partisans, assertors, or pro- 
tectors. 

Let us examine into the value of this security upon 
the principles of those who are more sober, — of those 
who think, indeed, the French Constitution bettor, or 
at least as good as the Britisli, without going to all 
the lengths of the warmer politicians in reprobating 
their own. Their security amounts in reality to iioth 
ing more than this, — that the diffcrciico 'j'Uwoen 
their republican system and the British limited mou 
archy is not worth a civil war. This opinion, I ad- 
mit, will prevent people not very enterprising in their 
nature from an active undertaking against the Brit 



t-- 



VOL. IV. 



13 



194 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



f I 



ish Constitution. But it is the jj /. rest defensive 
principle that ever was infused into the mind of man 
against the attempts of those who will enterprise. It 
will tend totally to remove from their minds that very 
terror of a civil war which is held out as our sole se- 
curity. They who think so well of the French Con- 
stitution certainly will not be the persons to carry on 
a war to prevent then: obtaining a great benefit, or at 
worst a fair exchange. They will not go to 1 'attle in 
favor of a cause in which their defeat might be more 
advantageous to the public than their victory. They 
must at least tacitly abet those who endeavor to make 
converts to a sound opinion; they must discounte- 
nance those who would oppose its propagation. In 
proportion as by these means the enterprising party 
is strengthened, the dread of a struggle is lessened. 
See what an encouragement this is to the enemies of 
the Constitution ! A few assassinations and a very 
great destruction of property we know they consider 
as no real obstacles in the way of a grand political 
change. And they will hope, that here, if antimo- 
narchical opinions gain ground as they have done in 
France, they may, as in France, accomplish a revolu- 
tion without a war. 

They who think so well of the French Constitution 
cannot be seriously alarmed by any progress made by 
its partisans. Provisions for security are not to be 
received from tliose who think that there is no dan- 
ger. No ! there is no plan of security to be listened 
to but from those who entertain the same tears with 
ourselves, — from those who think that the thing to 
be secured is a great blessing, and the thing against 
which we would secure it a great mischief. Every 
person of a different opinion must be careless about 
security. 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



195 



I believe the author of the Reflections, whether he 
fears the designs of that set of people with reason or 
not, cannot prevail on himself to despise tliem. Ho 
cannot despise them for their numbers, wliich, though 
small, compared with the sound part of the coinmu- 
nity, are not inconsiderable : he cannot look with 
contempt on their influence, their activity, or the 
kind of talents and tempers which they possess, ex- 
actly calculated for the work they have in hand and 
the minds they chiefly apply to. Do we not see their 
most considerable and accredited ministers, and sev- 
eral of their party < " weight and importance, active 
in spreading misc' is opinions, in giving san • jii 

to sedit JUS ^ritiii i promoting seditious anniver- 
saries? and what p>.rt of their description has dis- 
owned thein cr their proceedings ? Wlien men, 
circumstanced as these are, publicly declare such 
admiration of a foreign Constitution, ana such con- 
tempt of our own, it would be, in the author of the 
Reflections, thinking as he does of the French Con- 
stitution, infamously to cheat the rest of the nation 
to their ruin to say there is no danger. 

In estimating danger, we are obliged to take into 
our calculation the character and disposition of the 
enc^ A' into whose hands we may chance to fall. The 
geni^o of this faction is easily discerned, by observ- 
ing with what a very difierent eye they have viewed 
the late foreign revolutions. Two have passed before 
them : that of France, and that of Poland. The state 
of Poland was such, that there could scarcely e^ist two 
opinions, but that a reformation of its Constitution, 
even at some expense of blood, might be seen without 
much disapprobation. No confusion could be feared 
in such an enterprise ; because the establishment to 



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APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



bo reformed was itself a state of confusiou. A king 
without authority ; nobles without union or subordi- 
nation; a people without arts, industry, commerce, 
or liberty ; no order within, no defence without ; no 
effective public force, but a foreign force, which en- 
tered a naked country at will, and disposed of every- 
thing at pleasure. Here was a state of things whicli 
seemed to invite, and might perhaps justify, bold en- 
terprise and desperate experiment. But in what 
manner was this chaos brought into order? The 
means were as striking to the imagination as satis- 
factory to the reason and soothing to the moral senti- 
ments. In contemplating that change, humanity has 
everything to rejoice and to glory in,— nothing to 
be ashamed of, nothing to suffer. So far as it has 
gone, it probably is the most pure and defecated pub- 
lic good which ever has been conferred on mankind. 
We have seen anarchy and servitude at once re- 
moved ; a throne strengthened for the protection of 
the people, without trenching on their liberties ; all 
foreign cabal banished, by changing the crown from 
elective to hereditary; ajid what was a matter of 
pleasing wonder, we have seen a reigning king, from 
an heroic love to his country, exerting himself with 
all the toil, the dexterity, the management, the in- 
trigue, in favor of a family of strangers, with which 
ambitious men labor for the aggrandizement of their 
own. Ten millions of men in a way of being freed 
gradually, and therefore safely to themselves and the 
state, not from civil or political chains, which, bad as 
they are, only fetter the mind, but from substantial 
personal bondage. Inhabitants of cities, before with- 
out privileges, placed in the consideration which be- 
longs to that improved and connecting situation of 



ni 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



197 



Eoclal life. One of the most proud, numerous, and 
fierce bodies of nobility and gentry ever known in 
the world arranged only in the foremost rank of free 
and generous citizens. Not one man incurred loss 
or suffered degradation. All, from the king to the 
day-laborer, were improved in their condition. Ev- 
erything was kept in its place and order ; but in that 
place and order everything was bettered. To add 
to tliis happy wonder, this unheard-of conjunction 
of wisdom and fortune, not 0-.j drop of blood was 
spilled ; no treachery ; no outrage ; no system of 
slander more cruel than the sword ; no studied in- 
sults on religion, morals, or manners ; no spoil ; no 
confiscation ; no citizen beggared ; none imprisoned ; 
none exiled : the whole was eflected with a policy, a 
discretion, an unanimity and secrecy, such as have 
never been before known on any occasion ; but such 
wonderful conduct was reserved for this glorious con- 
spiracy in favor of the true and genuine rights and 
interests of men. Happy people, if they know to 
proceed as they have begun ! Happy prince, worthy 
to begin with splendor or to close with glory a race 
of patriots and of kings, and to leave 

A name, which every wind to heaven would bear. 
Which men to speak, and angels joy to hear ! 

To finish all, — this great good, as in the instant it is, 
contains in it the seeds of all further improvement, 
and may be considered as in a regular progress, be- 
cause founded on similar principles, towards the sta- 
ble excellence of a British Constitution. 

Here was a matter for congratulation and for fes 
tive remembrance through ages. Here moralists and 
divines might indeed relax in their temperance, to 
exhilarate their himianity. But mark the character 



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of our faction. All their enthusiasm is kept for the 
French Revolution. They cannot pretend that France 
had stood so much in need of a change as Poland. 
They cannot pretend that Poland has not obtained 
a better system of liberty or of government than it 
enjoyed before. They cannot assert that the Polish 
Revolution cost more dearly than that of France lo 
the interests and feelings of multitudes of men. But 
the cold and subordinate light in which they look 
upon the one, and the pams they take to preach up 
the other of these Revolutions, leave us no choice in 
fixing on their motives. Both Revolutions profess 
liberty as their object; but in obtaining this object 
the one proceeds from anarchy to order, the otlier 
from order to anarchy. The first secures its liberty 
by establishing its throne ; the other builds its free- 
dom on the subversion of its monarchy. In the one, 
their means are unstained by crimes, and tlieir settle- 
ment favors morality ; in the other, vice and confu- 
sion are in the very essence of their pursuit, and of 
their enjoyment. The circumstances in which these 
two events differ must cause the difference we make 
in their comparative estimation. These turn the scale 
with the societies in favor of France. Ferrum est quod 
amant. The frauds, the violences, the sacrileges, the 
havoc and ruin of families, the dispersion and exile of 
the pride and flower of a great country, the disorder, 
the confusion, the anarchy, the violation of property, 
the cruel murders, the inhuman confiscations, and in 
the end the insolent domination of bloody, ferocious, 
and senseless clubs,— these are the things which they 
love and admire. What men admire and love they 
would surely act. Let us see what is done in France ; 
and then let us undervalue any the slightest danger 



TO THE OLD WHI08. 



199 



of falliug iuto the hauds of such a merciless and sav- 
age faction ! 

" But the leaders of tlie factious societies are too 
wild to succeed in this their uudcrtuking." I hope 
so. But supposing them wild and absurd, is there 
uo danger but from wise and reflecting men ? Per- 
haps the greatest mischiefs that have happened in the 
world hare happened from persons as wild as those 
wo think the wildest. In truth, they are the fittest 
begiimers of all great changes. Why encourage men 
in a mischievous proceeding, because their absurdity 
may disappoint their malice ? — " But noticing them 
may give tliem consequence." Certainly. But' they 
are noticed ; and they are noticed, not with reproof, 
but with that kind of countenance which is given by 
an apparent concurrence (not a real one, I am con- 
vinced) of a great party in the praises of tlie object 
which they hold out to imitation. 

But I hear a language still more extraordinary, and 
indeed of such a nature as must suppose or leave us 
at their mercy. It is this : — " You know their promp- 
titude in writing, and their diligence in caballing ; to 
write, speak, or act against them will only stimulate 
them to new efforts." This way of considering the 
principle of their conduct pays but a poor compli- 
ment to these gentlemen. They pretend that their 
doctrines are infinitely beneficial to mankind ; but it 
seems they would keep them to themselves, if they 
were not greatly provoked. They arc benevolent from 
spite. Tlieir oracles are like those of Proteus, (whom 
some people think they rcsomblo '•> many particulars,) 
who never would give his responses, unless you used 
him as ill as possible. These cats, it seems, wouP 
not give OTit their electrical light without having 



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their backs well rubbed. But this is not to do them 
perfect justice. They are sufficiently commuuicalive. 
Had they been quiet, the propriety of any agitation 
of topics on the origin and primary rights of govern- 
ment, in opposition to their private sentiments, might 
possibly be doubted. But, as it is notorious that 
they were proceeding as fast and as ft r as time and 
circumstances would admit, both in Uieir discussions 
and cabals, — as it is not to be denied that they had 
opened a correspondence with a foreign faction the 
most wicked the world ever saw, and established 
anniversaries to commemorate the most monstrous, 
cruel, and perfidious of all the proceedings of that 
faction, — the question is, whether their conduct was 
to be regarded in silence, lest our interference should 
render them outrageous. Then let them deal as 
they please with the Constitution. Let the lady be 
passive, lost th^ ravisher should be driven to force. 
Besistance will only increase his desires. Yes, truly, 
if the resistance be feigned and feeble. But they 
who are wedded to the Cons^.utiou will not act the 
part of wittols. They wiU drive such seducers from 
the house on the first appearance of their love-letters 
and offered assignations. But if the author of the 
Reflections, though a vigilant, was not a discreet 
guardian of the Constitution, let them who have the 
same regard to it show themselves as vigilant and 
more skilful in repelling the attacks of seduction or 
violence. Their freedom from jealousy Is equivocal, 
and may arise as weU from indifference to tlie object 
as from confidence in her virtue. 

On their principle, it is the resistance, and not the 
assault, which produces the danger. I admit, indeed, 
that, if we estimated the danger by the value of tlic 



TO THE OLD WHI08. 



201 



writings, it would be little wortliy of our attention : 
coutumptible these writings are in every sense. But 
they are not the cause, they are the disgubtiiig symp- 
toms of a frightful distemper. They are not other- 
wise of consequence than as they show the evil liabit 
uf tlic bodies from wlieuce tliey come. In that light 
the meanest of them is a serious thing. If, however, 
I should underrate them, and if the truth is, that 
they are not the result, but the cause, of the disorders 
I speak of, surely those who circulate operative poi- 
sons, and give to whatever force tliey have by tlieir 
nature the further operation of tlieir authority and 
adoption, are to be censured, watched, and, if possi- 
ble, repressed. 

At what distance the direct danger from such fac- 
tious may be it is not easy to fix. An adaptation of 
circumstances to designs and principles is necessary. 
But these cannot be wanting for any long time, in 
the ordinary course of sublunary affairs. Great dis- 
contents frequently arise in the best constituted gov 
erumciits from causes which no human wisdom can 
foresee and no human power can prevent. They oc- 
cur at uncertain periods, but at periods wliich are 
not commonly far asunder. Governments of all kinds 
are administered only by men ; and great mistakes, 
tending to inflame these discontents, may concur. 
The indecision of those who happen to rule at the 
critical time, tlieir supine neglect, or their precipitate 
and ill-judged attention, may aggravate tlie public 
misfortunes. Li such a state of things, the princi- 
ples, now only sown, will shoot out and vegetate in 
full luxuriance. In such circumstances tlie minds 
of the people become sore and ulcerated. They are 
put out of humor with all public men and all public 



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APPEAL FBOX TB« NEW 



parties ; thoj are fatigued with their disseusious ; 
they are irritated at their coalitions; Uiej are made 
easily to beUeve (what much pains are taken to make 
them believe) Uiat all oppositions are factious, and 
all courUers base and servile. (From Uieir disgust at 
men, they are soon led to quarrel with their frame of 
government, whijli : .. y presume gives nourishment 
to the vices, real or supposed, of those who admin- 
ister in it. Mistaking malignity for sagacity, they 
are soon led to cast olf ull hope from a good admiuis- 
traUou of affairs, and come to think that all reforma- 
tion depends, not on a change of actors, but vpon 
an alteration in the machinery. Then will be felt 
the fuU effect of encouraging doctrmes which tend 
to make the citizens despise their Constitution. Then 
will be felt the plenitude of the mischief of teaching 
the people to believe that all ancient institutions are 
the results of ignorance, and that all prescriptive gov- 
ernment is in its nature usurpation. Then will be 
felt, in all its energy, the danger of encouraging a 
spirit of litigation in persons of that immature and 
imperfect state of knowledge which serves to render 
them susceptible of doubts, but incapable of their 
solution. Then will be felt, in all its aggravation, 
the pernicious consequence of destroying all docility 
in the minds of those who are not formed for finding 
their own way in tlie labyrinths of political theory, 
and are made to reject the clew and to disdain the 
guide. Then will be felt, and too late will be ac- 
knowledged, the ruui which follows the disjoining of 
^ religion from the state, the separation of morality 
from policy, and the giving conscience no concern 
and no coactive or coercive force in the most mate- 
rial of all the social ties, tlic principle of our obliga- 
tions to government. 



TO THE OLD WmOS. 



203 



I know, too, that, besides this vain, contradictory, 
and self-destructive security which some men derive 
from the habitual attachment of the people to this 
Constitution, whilst thoy suffer it with a sort of sport- 
ive acquiescence to bo brought into contempt before 
tlieir faces, they have other grounds for removing all 
apprehension from their minds. Thoy are of opinion 
that there ore too many men of great hereditary es- 
tates and influence in the kingdom to suffer the es- 
tablishment of the levelling system which has taken 
place in France. This is very true, if, in order to 
guide the power which now attends their property, 
these men possess the wisdom which is involvud in 
early fear. But if, through a supine security, to which 
such fortunes are peculiarly liable, thoy neglect tlie 
use of their influence in the season of their power, 
on the first derangement of society the nerves of 
their strength will be cut. Tlveir estates, instead of 
l>oing the means of their security, will become the 
very causes of their danger. Instead of bcbtowing 
influence, they will excite rapacity. They will be 
looked to as a prey. 

Such will be the impotent condition of those men 
of great hereditary estates, who indeed dislike the de- 
signs that are carried on, but whose dislike is rather 
that of spectators than of parties that may be con- 
cerned in the catastrophe of the piece. But rio">u s 
do not in all cases secure even an inert and pasbive 
resistance. There are always in tliat description men 
whose fortunes, wlien their minds are once vitiated 
by passion or by evil principle, are by no means a 
security from their actually taking their part against 
the public tranquillity. We see to what low and des- 
picable passions of all kinds many men in that class 




204 



APPEAL FBOM THE NEW 



are ready to sacrifice the patrimonial estates which 
miglit be perpetuated in their families with splendor, 
and with the fame of hereditary benefactors to man- 
kind, from generation to generation. Do we not see 
how lightly people treat their fortunes, when under 
the influence of the passion of gaming ? Tlie game 
of ambition or resentment will be played by many of 
the rich and great as desperately, and with as much 
blindness to the consequences, as any other game. 
Was he a man of no rank or fortune who first set 
on foot tlie disturbances which have ruined France ? 
Passion blinded him to the consequences, so far as 
they concerned himself; and as to the consequences 
with regard to others, they were no part of his con- 
sideration, — nor ever will be with those who bear any 
resemblance to that virtuous patriot and lover of the 
rights of man. 

There is also a time of insecurity, when interests 
of all sorts become objects of speculation. Then it 
is that their very attachment to wealth and impor- 
tance will induce several persons of opulence to list 
tliemselves and even to take a lead with the party 
which they think most likely to prevail, in order to 
obtahi to themselves consideration in some new or- 
der or disorder of things. They may be led to act 
in this manner, that tlujy may secure some portion 
of their own property, and perhaps to become par- 
takers of the spoil of their own order. Those who 
speculate on change always make a great number 
among people of rank and fortune, as well as amongst 
the low and the indigent. 

What security against all this? — All human se- 
curities are liable to uncertainty. But if anytliing 
bids fair for the prevention of so great a calamity, 



TO THE OLD WTOGS. 



205 



it must consist in the use of the ordinary means of 
just influence in society, whilst those means continue 
unimpaired. The public judgment ought to receive 
a proper direction. All weighty men may have their 
share in so good a work. As yet, notwithstanding 
the strutting and lying independence of a braggart 
philosophy. Nature maintains her rights, and great 
names have great prevalence. Two such men as Mr. 
Pitt and Mr. Fox, adding to their authority in a point 
in which tliey concur even by their disunion in every- 
thing else, might frown these wicked opuiions out of 
the kingdom. But if the influence of either of them, 
or tlie influence of men like them, should, against 
their serious intentions, be otherwise perverted, they 
may countenance opinions which (as I have said be- 
fore, and could wish over and over again to press) 
they may in vain attempt to control. In their theory, 
these doctrines admit no limit, no qualification what- 
soever. No man can say how far he will go, who 
joins with those who are avowedly going to the ut- 
most extremities. What security is there for stop- 
ping short at all in these wild conceits ? Why, neither 
more nor less than this, — that the moral sentiments 
of some few amongst them do put some clieck on 
their savage theories. But let us take care. The 
moral sentiments, so nearly connected with early prej- 
udice as to be almost one and the same tiling, will 
assuredly not live long under a discipline which has 
for its basis the destruction of all prejudices, and the 
making the mind proof against all dread of conse- 
quences flowing from the pretended truths that are 
taught by their philosophy. 

In this school the moral sentiments must grow 
weaker and weaker every day. The more cautious 



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of these teachers, in laying down their maxims, draw 
as much of the conclusion as suits, not with their 
premises, but with their policy. They trust the rest 
to the sagacity of their pupils. Others, and these are 
the most vaunted for their spirit, not only lay down 
the same premises, but boldly draw the conclusions, to 
the destruction of our whole Constitution in Church 
and State. But are these conclusions truly drawn ? 
Yes, most certainly. Their principles are wild and 
wicked ; but let justice be done even to frenzy and 
villany. These teachers are perfectly systematic. 
No man who assumes their grounds can tolerate 
the British Constitution in Church or State. These 
teachers profess to scorn all mediocrity, — to engage 
for perfection,— to proceed by the simplest and short- 
est course. They buUd their politics, not on con- 
venience, but on truth ; and they profess to conduct 
men to certain happiness by the assertion of their 
undoubted rights. With them there is no compro- 
mise. All other governments are usurpations, which 
justify and even demand resistance. 
^ Their principles always go to the extreme. They 
who go with the principles of the ancient Whigs, 
which are those contained in Mr. Burke's book 
never can go too far. They may, indeed, stop short 
of some hazardous and ambiguous excellence, which 
they will be taught to postpone to any reasonable 
degree of good they may actually possess. The 
opinions maintained in that book never can lead to 
an extreme, because their foundation is laid in an 
opposition to extremes. The jbundation o f govern- 
ffieny&Jthfirfi^Jaid^not in imaginary rights of 'men7 
(which at best is a confusion of judicial with civil 
principles,) but in political convenience, and in hu- 



TO THE OLD WHI03. 



207 



man nature, — either as that nature is universal, or 
^sTTis modified by local habits and social aptitudes. 
Tlie foundation of government (those who have read 
that book will recollect) is laid in a provision for our 
wants and in a conformity to our duties : it is to pur 
vey for the one, it is to enforce the other. These 
doctrines do of themselves gravitate to a middle 
jlfljat, or to some point near a middle. They sup- 
ose, indeed, a certain portion of liberty to be essen- 
tial to all good government ; but they infer that this 
liberty is to be blended into the government, to har- 
monize with its forms and its rules, and to be made 
subordinate to its end. Those who are not with that 
book are with its opposite ; for there is no medium 
besides the medium itself. That medium is not such 
because it is found there, but it is found there be- 
cause it is conformable to truth and Nature. In this 
we do not follow the author, but we and the author 
travel together upon the same safe and middle path. 

The theory contained in his book is not to furnish 
principles for making a new Constitution, but for 
illustrating the principles of a Constitution already 
made. It is a theory drawn from tlie fact of our 
government. They who oppose it are bound to 
show that his theory militates with that fact ; other- 
wise, their quarrel is not with his book, but with the 
r^onstitution of their country. Tlie whole scheme of ' 
our mixed Constitution is to prevent any one of its 
principles from being carried as far as, taken by it- 
self, and theoretically, it would go. Allow that to 
be the true policy of the British system, then most 
of the faults with which that system stands charged 
will appear to be, not imperfections into which it has 
inadvertently fallen, but excellencies which it has 



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APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



Studiously sought. To avoid the perfections of ex- 
treme, all its several parts are so constituted as not 
-'lone to answer their own several ends, but also each 
, to limit and control the others; insomuch that, take 
, which of the principles you please, you will find its 
operation checked and stopped at a certain point. 
The whole movement stands still rather than that 
any part should proceed beyond its boundary. From 
thence it results that in the British Constitution 
( there is a perpetual treaty and compromise going 
on, sometimes openly, sometimes with less observa- 
tion. To him who contemplates the British Consti- 
tution, as to him who contemplates thj subordinate 
material world, it will always be a matter of his most 
curious investigation to discover the secret of this 
mutual limitation. 

Finita potestas deniqae euique 
Quanam sit ratione, atque alte terminus hrerens ? 

They who have acted, as in France they have done, 
upon a scheme wholly different, and who aim at the 
abstract and unlimited perfection of power in the pop. 
ular part, can be of no service to us in any of our 
political arrangements. They who in t'eir headlong 
career have overpassed the goal can furnish no exam- 
ple to those who aim to go no further. The temer- 
ity of such speculators is no more an example than 
the timidity of others. He one sort scorns the right ; 
the other fears it ; both miss it. But those who by 
violence go beyond the barrier are without question 
the most mischievous ; because, to go beyond it, they 
overturn and destroy it. To say they have spirit 
is to say nothing in their praise. The untempered 
spirit of madness, blindness, immorality, and impi* 
ety deserves no commendation. He that sets hia 



TO THE OLD WHIGS. 



209 



house on fire because his fingers are frost-bitten 
can never be a fit instnif^tor in the method of pro- 
viding our habitations wuii a cheerful and salutary 
warmth. We want no foreign examples to rekindle 
in us the flame of liberty. The example of our own 
ancestors is abundantly sufficient to maintain the 
spirit of freedom in its full vigor, and to qualify it 
in all its exertions. The example of a wise, moral, 
well-natured, ana well-tempered spirit of freedom is 
that alone which can be useful to us, or in the least 
degree reputable or safe. Our fabric is so consti- 
tuted, one part of it bears so much on the other, 
the parts are so made for one another, pnd for noth- 
ing else, that to introduce any foreign matter into it 
is to destroy it. 

What has been said of the Roman Empire is at 
least as true of the British Constitution : — " Ocfjw^en- 
tonim annorum fortuna discipUnaque compages hoec 
coaluit ; quce convelli sine convellentium exltio non po- 
test." This JBatiak.jC.Qnstitution has not been struck 
out at an heat by a set of presumptuous men. like the 
Assembly of pettifoggers run mad in Paris. 
" 'T is not the hasty prodnct of a day, 
But the well-ripened fruit of wise delay." 

It is the result of the thoughts of many minds in / 
many ages. It is no simple, no superficial thing, 
nor to be estimated by superficial understandings 
An ignorant man, who is not fool enough to meddle 
with his clock, is, however, sufficiently confident to 
think he can safely take to pieces and put together, 
at his pleasure, a moral machine of another guise, 
Importance, and complexity, composed of far otlier 
wheels and springs and balances and counteracting 
and cooperating powers. Men little think how im- 



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APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



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morally they act in rashly meddling with what they 
do not understand. Their delusive good intention 
is no sort of excuse for their presumption. They 
who truly mean well must be fearful of acting ill. 
The British Constitution may have its advantages 
pouited out to wise and reflecting minds, but it is 
of too high an order of excellence to be adapted to 
those which are common. It takes in too many 
views, it makes too many combinations, to bo so 
much as comprehended by shallow and superficial 
understandings. Profound thinkers will know it in 
its reason and spirit. The less inquiring will recog- 
nize it in their feelings and their experience. They 
will thank God they have a standard, which, in the 
most essential point of this great concern, will put 
them on a par with the most wise and knowing. 

If we do not take to our aid the foregone studies 
of men reputed mtelligent and learned, we shall be 
always beginners. But men must learn somewhere ; 
and the new teachers mean no more than what they 
effect, as far as they succeed, — that is, to deprive 
men of the benefit of the collected wisdom of man- 
kind, and to make them blind disciples of the-r own 
particular presumption. Talk to these deluded crea- 
tures (all the disciples and most of the masters) who 
are taught to think themselves so newly fitted rip 
and furnished, and you will find nothing in their 
houses but the refuse of Knaves' Acre, — nothing but 
the rotten stuff, worn out in the service of delusion 
and sedition in all ages, and which, being newly 
furbished up, patched, and varnished, serves well 
enough for those who, being unacquainted with the 
conflict which has always been maintained between 
the sense and the nonsense of mankind, know noth- 



TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



211 



I 



ing of the former existence and the ancient refuta- 
tion of the same follies. It is near two thousand 
years since it has been observed that these devices 
of ambition, avarice, and turbulence were antiquat- 
ed. They are, indeed, the most ancient of all com- 
monplaces : commonplaces sometimes of good and 
necessary causes ; more frequently of the worst, but 
which decide upon neither. Eadem semp • causa, 
libido et avaritia, et mutandarum rerum ai r. Ce- 
terum libertas et speciosa nomina pretexuntur ; nee 
quisquam alienum servitium, et dominationem sibi con- 
cupivit, ut non eadem ista vocdbula usurparet. 

Rational and experienced men tolerably well know, 
and have always known, how to distinguish between 
true and false liberty, .ind between the genuine ad- 
herence and the false pretence to what is true. But 
none, except those who are profoundly studied, can 
comprehend the elaborate contrivance of a fabric fit- 
ted to unite private and public liberty with public 
force, with order, with peace, with justice, and, above 
all, with the institutions formed for bestowing perma- 
nence and stability, through ages, upon this uivalua- 
ble whole. 

Place, for instance, before your eyes such a man 
as M ontesquie u. Think of a genius not born in 
every country or every time : a man gifted by Na- 
ture with a penetrating, aquiline eye, — with a judg- 
ment prepared with the most extensive erudition, — 
with an Herculean robustness of mind, and nerves not 
to be broken with labor, — a man who could spend 
twenty years in one pursuit. Think of a man like 
the universal patriarch in Milton (who had drawn up 
before him in his prophetic vision the whole series of 
the generations which were to issue from his loins) : 



in 



212 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 







a man capable of placing in nricw, after liavin" 
brojiglit together from tlie East, the West, the Nortli, 
and the South, from tlie coarseness of the rudest bar- 
barism to the most refined and subtle civilization, all 
the schemes of government vrhich had ever prevailed 
amongst mankind, weighing, measuring, collating, 
and ccnparing them all, joining fact with theory, 
and calling into council, upon all tliis infinite as- 
semblage of things, all the speculations wliich have 
fatigued the understandings of profound reasoners 
in all times. Let us then consider, that all tlicse 
were but so many preparatory steps to qualify a 
man, and such a man, tinctured with no national 
prejudice, with no domestic affection, to admire, and 
to hold out to the admiration of mankind, the Consti 
tution of England. And shall we Englishmen revoke 
to such a suit ? Shall we, when so much more tliau 
ho has produced remains still to be understood and 
admired, instead of keeping ourselves in the scliools 
of real science, choose for our teachers men incapable 
of being taught, — whose only claim to know is, that 
they have never doubted, — from whom we can learn 
nothing but tlioir own indocility, — who would teach 
us to scorn what in the silence of our hearts wo 
ought to adore ? 

Different from tliem are all the great critics. They 
have taught us one essential rule. I think the ex- 
cellent and philosophic artist, a true judge, as well 
as a perfect follower of Nature, Sir Joshua Reynolds, 
has somewhere applied it, or something like it, in his 
own profession. It is this : that, if ever we should 
find ourselves disposed not to admire those writers 
or artists (Livy and Virgil, for instance, Raphael or 
IMichael Angelo) whom all the learned had admired, 



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TO THE OLD WHIOS. 



218 



not to follow our own fancies, but to study them, 
until wo know how and what wo ought to admire ; 
and if wo cannot arrive at this combination of admi- 
ration with knowledge, rather to believe that wo are 
dull than that the rest of the world has beeu im- 
posed on. It is as gojd a rule, at least, with regard 
to this admired Constitution, Wo ought to under^ 
stand it according to our measure, and to veuorata 
where we are not able presently to comprehend. 

Such admirers were our fathers, to whom we owe 
this splendid inheritance. Let us improve it with 
zeal, but with fear. Let us follow our ancestors, 
mi'u not without a rational, though without an exclu- 
sive confidence in themselves, — who, by respecting 
the reason of others, who, by looking backward as 
well as forward, by the modesty as well as by the 
energy of their minds, went on insensibly drawing 
this Constitution nearer and nearer to its perfection, 
by never departing from its fundamental principles, 
nor introducing any amendment which had not a 
subsisting root in the laws. Constitution, and usages 
of the kingdom. Let those who have the trust of 
political or of natural authority ever keep watch 
against the desperate enterprises of innovation : let 
even their benevolence be fortified and armed. They 
have before their eyes the example of a monarch in- 
sulted, degraded, confined, deposed ; his family dis- 
persed, scattered, imprisoned ; his wife insulted to 
his face, like the vilest of the sex, by the vilest of 
all populace ; himself three times dragged by these 
wretches in an infamous triumph ; his children torn 
from him, in violation of the first right of Nature, 
and given into the tuition of the most desperate and 
impious of the leaders of desperate and impious clubs ; 



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214 



APPEAL FROM THE NEW 



his revenues dilapidated and plundered ; his magis- 
trates murdered ; his clergy proscribed, persecuted, 
famished ; his nobility degraded in their rank, un- 
done in their fortunes, fugitives in their persons ; his 
armies corrupted and ruined; his whole people im- 
poverished, disunited, dissolved ; whilst through the 
bars of his prison, and amidst the bayonets of his 
keepers, he hears the tumult of two conflicting fac- 
tions, equally wicked and abandoned, who agree in 
principles, in dispositions, and in objects, but who 
tear each other to pieces about the most effectual 
means of obtaining their common end : the one con- 
tending to preserve for a while his name, and his 
person, the more easily to destroy the royal authority, 
— the other clamoring to cut oflF the name, the per- 
son, and the monarchy together, by one sacrilegious 
execution. All this accumulation of calamity, the 
greatest that ever fell upon one man, has fallen upon 
his head, because he had left his virtues unguarded 
by caution, — because he was not taught, that, where 
power is concerned, he who will confer benefits must 
take security against ingratitude. 

I have stated the calamities which have fallen upon 
a great prince and nation, because they were not 
alarmed at the approach of danger, and because, 
what commonly happens to men surprised, they lost 
all resource when they were caught in it. When I 
speak of danger, I certainly mean to address myself 
to those who consider the prevalence of the new Whig 
doctrines as an evil. 

The Whigs of this day have before them, in this 
Appeal, their constitutional ancestors ; they have the 
doctors of the modern school. They will choose for 
themselves. The author of the Reflections has chosen 



TO THE OLD WHI08. 



215 



for himself. If a new order is coming on, and all 
the political opinions must pass away as dreams, 
which our ancestors have worshipped as revelations, 
I say for liim, that he would rather be the last (as 
certainly he is the least) of that race of men than 
the first and greatest of those who have coined to 
themselves Whig principles from a French die, un- 
known to the impress of our fathers in the Coustitu- 
tion. 



I 





4 



LETTER 



TO 



A PEER OF IRELAND 



PENAL LAWS AGAINST IRISH CATHOLICS, 



PREVIOUS TO 



t 



THE LATE REPEAL OF A PART THEREOF IN 
THE SESSION OF THE IRISH PAR- 
LIAMENT, HELD A. D. 1782. 








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LETTER. 



Chablbs Street, Loimoir, Feb. SI, 17H2. 

MY LORr>, — I am obliged to your Lordship for 
your communication of the heads of Mr. Gar- 
diner's bill. I had received it, in an earlier stage of 
its progress, from Mr. Braughall ; and I am still in 
that gentleman's debt, as I have not made him the 
proper return for the favor he has done me. Busi- 
ness, to which I was more immediately called, and 
in which my sentiments had the weight of one vote, 
occupied mo every moment since I received his let- 
ter. This first morning which I can call my own I 
give with great cheerfulness to the subject on which 
your Lordship has done me the honor of desiring my 
opinion. 

I have read the heads of the bill, with the amend- 
ments. Your Lordship is too well acquainted with 
men, and with aifairs, to imagine that any true judg- 
ment can be formed on the value of a great measure 
of policy from the perusal of a piece of paper. At 
present I am much in the dark with regard to the 
state of the country which the intended law is to 
be applied to. It is not easy for me to determine 
whether or no it was wise (for the sake of expunging 
the black letter of laws which, menacing as they 
were in the language, were every day fading into dis- 
use) sonmnly to reaflfirm the principles and to re- 
enact the provisions of a code of statutes by which 




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220 



ON THE PENAL LAWS 



you are totally excluded from the PHivnj»E8 op the 
COMMONWEALTH, from the highest to the lowest, fi-om 
the most material of the civil professions, from the 
army, and cren from education, where alone educa- 
tion is to be had.* 

Whether this scliame of indulgence, grounded at 
once on contempt and jealousy, has a tendency grad- 
ually to produce something better and more liberal, I 
cannot tell, for want of having the actual map of the 
country. If this should be the case, it was right in 
you to accept it, such as it is. But if this should be 
one of the experiments which have sometimes been 
made before the temper of the nation was ripe for a 
real reformation, I tliiuk it may possibly have ill ef- 
fects, by disposing the penal matter in a more sys- 
tematic order, and thereby fixing a permanent bar 
against any relief that is truly substantial. Tlie 
whole merit or demerit of the nioasure depends upon 
the plans and dispositions of those by whom the act 
was made, concurring with the general temper of the 
Protestants of Ireland, and their aptitude to admit 
in time of some part of that equality without which 
you never can be fellow-citizens. Of all this I ani 
wholly ignorant. All my correspondence with men 
of public importance in Ireland has for some time 
totally ceased. On the first bill for the relief of the 
Roman Catholics of Ireland, I was, without any call 
of mine, consulted both on your side of the water 
and on this. On the present occasion, I have not 
heard a word from any man in office, and know as 

* The sketch of the bill sent to Mr. Burke, along with the repeal 
of some acts, reaffirmed many others in the penal code. It was al- 
tered afterwards, and the clauses reaffirming the incapacities left out; 
but they oil still exist, and arc iu full furcu. 



izA . 



.tm^ 



AGAINST IRISH CATHOLICS. 



221 



little of the intentions of the British govern mont as 
I know of the temper of the Irish Parliament. I do 
not find that any opposition was made by tlio ])riii 
cipal persons of the minority in the House of Com- 
mons, or that any is apprehended from them in the 
' '.ouse of Lords. The whole of the difficulty seems 
to lie with the principal men in government, under 
whose protection this bill is supposed to be brought 
in. Tliis violent opposition and cordial support, com- 
ing from one and the same quarter, appears to mo 
something mysterious, and hinders me from being 
able to make aiiy clear judgment of the merit of tlie 
present measure, as compared with the actual state 
of the country and the general views of government, 
without which one can say nothing that may not bo 
very erroneous. 

To look at the bill in the abstract, it is neither 
more nor less than a renewed act of universal, un- 

MITIOATKD, rvDISPENSABLE, EXCEPTIONLESS DISQUALI- 
FICATION. 

One would imagine that a bill inflicting such a 
multitude of incapacities had followed on the heels 
of a conquest made by a very ficruc enemy, under 
the impression of recent animosity and resentment. 
No man, on reading that bill, could imagine he was 
reading an act of amnesty and indulgence, following 
a recital of the good behavior of those who are tlio 
objects of it, — which recital stood at the head of tho 
bill, as it was first introduced, but, I suppose for its 
incongruity with the body of tho piece, was afterwards 
omitted. This I say on memory. It, however, still 
recites the oath, and that Catholics ouglit to be con- 
sidered as good and loyal subjects to his Majesty, his 
crown and government. Tlien follows an universal 




114 ^s^ ; 







If 




222 



ON THE PENAL LAWS 



exclusion of those good and lotal subjects from 
every (even the lowest) office of trust and profit, — 
from any vote at an election, — from any privilege 
in a town corporate, — from being even a freeman of 
such a corporation, — from serving on grand juries, 
— from a vote at a vestry, — from having a gim in his 
house, — from being a barrister, attorney, or solicitor, 
&c •"* &c. 

Tuis nas surely much more the air of a table of 
proscription than an act of grace. Wliat must we 
suppose the laws concerning those good subjects to 
have been, of which this is a relaxation ? I know 
well that there is a cant language current, about the 
difference between an exclusion from employments, 
even to the most rigorous extent, and an exclusion 
from the natural benefits arising from a man's own 
industry. I allow, that, under some circumstances, 
the difference is very material in point of justice, and 
that there are considerations which may render it 
advisable for a wise government to keep the leading 
parts of every branch of civil and military adminis- 
tration in hands of the best trust ; but a total exclu- 
sion from the commonT.ealth is a very different thing. 
When a government subsists (as governments former- 
ly did) on an estate of its own, with but few and in- 
considerable revenues drawn from the subject, then 
the few officers which existed in such establishments 
were naturally at the disposal of that government, 
which paid the salaries out of its own coffers : there 
an exclusive preference could hardly merit the name 
of proscription. Almost the whole produce of a man's 
mdustry at that time remained in his own purse to 
maintain his <"amily. But times alter, and the whole 
estate of government is from private contribution. 



AOAINST IBISH CATBOUCS. 



223 



Wheu a very great portion of the labor of individu- 
als goes to the state, and is bj the state again refund- 
ed to individuals, through the medium of ottlces, and 
in tliis circuitous progress from the private to the 
public, and from the public again to the private fund, 
the families from whom the revenue is taken are in- 
demnified, and an equitable balance ))ctwcon the gov- 
ernment and the subject is established. But if a 
great body of the people who contribute to this ^tate 
lottery are excluded from all the prizes, the stopping 
the circulation with regard to them may be a most 
cruel hardship, amounting in effect to being double 
and treble taxed ; and it will be felt as such to the 
very quick, by all the families, high and low, of those 
hundreds of thousands who are denied their chance 
in the returned fruits of their own industry. This 
is the thing meant by those wlio look upon the public 
revenue only as a spoil, and will naturally wish to 
have as few as possible concerned in the division of 
the booty. If a state should be so unhappy as to 
think it cannot subsist without such a barbarous pro- 
scription, tiie persons so proscribed ought to be in- 
demnified by the remission of a large part of their 
taxes, by an immunity from the offices of public bur- 
den, and by an exemption from being pressed into 
any military or naval service. 

Common sense and common jvistice dictate this at 
least, as some sort of compensation to a people for 
their slavery. How many families are incapable of 
existing, if the little offices of the revenue and little 
military commissions are denied them! To deny 
them at home, and to make the liappincss of acquir- 
ing some of them somewhere else felony or high 
treason, is a piece of cruelty, in which, till very late- 





U-- 




224 



OK THE PENAL LAWS 



ly, I did not suppose this age capable of persisting. 
Formerly a similarity of religion made a sort of conn- 
try for a man in some quarter or other. A refugee 
for religion was a protected character. Now the 
reception is cold indeed ; and therefore, as the asylum 
abroad is destroyed, the hardship at home is doubled. 
Tiiis hardship is the more intolerable because the 
professions are shut up. The Church i so of coui-se. 
Much is to be said on that subject, in regard to tlicra, 
and to the Protestant dissenters. But that is a chap- 
ter by itself 1 am el wish well to that Church, 
and thinlc its mini' -s among tlie very best citizens 
of your country. However, such as it is, a great walk 
in life is forbidden ground to seventeen hundred 
thousand of the inhabitants of Ireland. Why are 
they excluded from the law? Do not they expend 
money in their suits ? Why may not they indemnify 
themselves, by profiting, in the persons of some, for 
the losses incurred by others ? Why may not they 
have persons of confidence, whom they may, if they 
please, employ in the agency of their affliirs ? Tlie 
exclusion from the law, from grand juries, from sher- 
iffships and undcr-sheriffships, as woll as from free- 
dom in any corporation, may subject them to dreadful 
hardships, as it may exclude them wholly from all 
that is beneficial and expose them to all that is mis- 
chievous in a trial by jury. This was manifestly 
within my own observation, for I was three times in 
Ireland from the year 1760 to the year 1767, where 
I had sufficient means of information concerning the 
inhuman proceedings (among which were many cruel 
murders, besides an infinity ol' outrages and oppres- 
sions unknown before in a civilized age) which pre- 
vailed during that period, in consequence uf a pre- 



_:a>ia 



▲OAINST IBISH CATHOUCS. 



225 



tended conspiracy among Roman Catholics against the 
king's goTernment. I could dilate upon the mis- 
ciiicfs that may happen, from those whicli have hap- 
pened, upon this head of disqualification, if it wore 
at all necessary. 

The head of exclusion from votes for members 
of Parliament is closely connected witli the former. 
When you cast your eye on the statute-book, you 
will see that no Catholic, even in the ferocious acts 
of Queen Anne, was disabled from voting on account 
of his religion. The only conditions required for 
that privilege were the oaths of allegiance and ab- 
juration, — both oaths relative to a civil concern. 
Parliament has since added another oath of the same 
kind ; and yet a House of Commons, adding to the 
securities of government in proportion as its danger 
is confessedly lessened, and professuig l)oth confidence 
and indulgence, in effect takes away tho privilege left 
by an act full of jealousy and professing persecu- 
tion. 

The taking away of a vote is the taking away the 
shield which the subject has, not only against the 
oppression of power, but that worst of all oppressions, 
the persecution of private society and private man- 
ners. No candidate for Parliamentary influence is 
obliged to the least attention towards them, either 
m cities or counties. On the contrary, if tliey should 
become obnoxious to any bigoted or malignant peo- 
ple amongst whom they live, it will become the in- 
terest of those who court popular favor to use the 
numberless means which always reside in magistracy 
and influence to oppress them. The proceedings in 
a certain county in Munster, during the unfortunate 
period I have uientioued, read a strong lecture ou 



VOL. IT. 



IS 



M 



226 



ON THE PENAL LAWS 



ttie cruolty of depriving men of that shield on ao- 
count of their speculative opinions. The Protestants 
of Ireland feci well and naturally on the hardshi} of 
being bound bv laws in the enacting of which thev do 
not directly or indirectly vote. The bounds of tliose 
matters are nice, and hard to be settled in theory, 
and iwrhaps they have been pushed too far. But 
how they can avoid the necessary application of tlio 
principles they use in their disputes with others t 
their disputes with their fellow-citizens, I know not. 
It is true, the words of this act do not create a 
disability; but they cleariy and evid ntly suppose it. 
Tliere arc lew Catholic freeholders to take Ibe benefit 
of the privilege, if they were [,ermitted to partake it ; 
but the manner in which this very right in freeholders 
at large is defended is not un the idea that tlie free- 
holders do really and tnily represent the pcopk, but 
that, all people being capable of obtaining rreeholds, 
all those who by their industry and sobriety merit 
this privilege have the means of arriving at votes. 
It is the same with the corporations. 

The laws against foreign education are clearly the 
very wor>t part of the old code. Besides your laity, 
you haA •; the succession of about four thousand cler- 
gymen to provido for. The? havii o lucrative 
objects in prospect, are take er; u^ucm out of the 
lower orders of the people, vt home they have no 
means whatsoever provided f . thci attaining a cleri- 
cal education, or indecl any edt I't *n at all. Wben 
I was in Pari?=, ahout seven yen ago, I looked at 
everytl ing, ai. i live ' with every kind of people, as 
well as ny time adr ;ted. I saw here the Ir sh col- 
lege of !i« Lombara. which seemed to me a very good 
place oi education, u .er excellent orders and reguia- 



M 



uiAiNST mmm oathoui-j. 



S87 



tions, aiid uu. sjr tlie 'overnmeat of very prudei : 
and leagued man (th late Dr. Kelly). This C(ji- 
i-jge wa- possessed of ..a animal fixed revenui ta 
ujore than a thousand pound a jaai. the greatest 
part of whidi had arisen from the legacies mid bt- o- 
factions of [)ersous educated in that college, an.! who 
had obtained promotions in France, froui 'he ciuol 
meat of which promotions Lhey n lo this gratefm 
return. < hie in particu 'ir I remoiiiui: to the amoui 
of ten til iisand livres .iiniui y, is it i^^ "ecorded on 
the donor's monument in the • chapel. 

It has be u the custom of i«*)r nersoi 
to -nek up ach knuwledg** oi Lat 

miusr '■•lu general iiscour i;." iciits, an 
pursuits of magistiuv V, th were ile i 
and receiving orders it h< .o, were sent 
obtain a ( lerical euut ao; B^ < fficiatinj; in petty 
cuaplainships, and pei n-; ^ing now and tlicii certain 
offices of religioi for aiaail gratuities, they received 
the means of m;uuninin^> themselves until they were 
ible to complett- tht r < meat n Through such dif- 
ficulties and d „oi ragimenus, many of them iiavo 
arrived at a very r>rm '•nhlc proficiency, so as to 



iu Ireland 

ongue as, 

ocasional 

icquire ; 

. jroad to 



be marked and disi 
aft rwards, by beii 
despised and ill-treui 
Prot'^stants, a id not muc 



jroad. These persons 
i the must abject poverty, 
;li' higher ord is among 
better esteemea or treat- 



ed even by tlic few person, of fortune of their ow i 
persuasion, and contracting the haldts and ways o 
thinking of the t>oor and uneducated, among whon 
they were obliired to live, in a few years re tamed 
little or no trat ' the talents and acciuirements 
which distiiigiushed them in the early ^.'oriods of 
their lives. Can we with justice cut them off from 




.» 'I 



228 



ON THE PENAL LAWS 



n 



it 






^ 



bi 



the use of places of education founded for the great- 
er part from the economy of poverty and exile, with- 
out providing something that is equivalent at home ? 
Whilst this restraint of foreign and domestic edu- 
cation was part of an horrible and impious system of 
servitude, the members were well fitted to the body. 
To render men patient under a deprivation of all the 
rights of human nature, everything which could give 
them a knowledge or feeling of those rights was ra- 
tionally forbidden. To render humanity fit to be in- 
sulted, it was fit that it should be degraded. But 
when we profess to restore men to the capacity for 
property, it is equally irrational and unjust to deny 
them the power of improving their minds as well as 
their fortunes. Indeed, I have ever thought the pro- 
hibition of the means of improving our rational na- 
ture to be the worst species of tyranny that the 
insolence and perverseness of mankind ever dared 
to exercise. This goes to all men, in all situations, 
to whom education can be denied. 

Your Lordship mentions a proposal which came 
from my friend, the Provost, whose benevolence and 
enlarged spirit I am perfectly convinced of, — which 
is, the proposal of erecting a few sizarships in the 
college, for the education (I suppose) of Roman 
Catholic clergymen.* He certainly meant it well ; 
l)ut, coming from such a man as he is, it is a strong 
instance of the danger of suffering any description 
of men to fall into entire contempt. The charities 
intended for them are not perceived to be fresh in- 
sults ; and the true nature of their wants and neces- 
sities being unknown, remedies wholly unsuitable to 

• It appears that Mr. Hutchinson meant this only as one of the 
nieani for their relief in point of education. 



AGAINST IRISH CATHOUCS. 



229 



the nature of their complaint are provided for them. 
It is to feed a sick Gentoo with beef broth, and to 
foment his wounds with brandy. If the other parts 
of the university v-^re open to them, as well on the 
foundation as otherwise, the offering of sizarships 
would be a proportioned part of a general kindness. 
But when everything liheral is withhold, and only 
that which is Bervile is permitted, it is easy to con- 
ceive upon what footing they must be in such a 
place. 

Mr. Hutchinson must well know the regard and 
honor I have for him ; and he cannot think my dis- 
senting from him in this particular arises from a 
disregard of his opinion : it only shows that I think 
he has lived in Ireland. To have any respect for 
the character and person of a Popish priest there — 
oh, 't is an uphill work indeed ! But until we come 
to respect what stands in a respectable light with 
others, we are very deficient in the teuiper which 
qualifies us to make any laws and regulations about 
them: it even disqualifies us from being charitable 
to them with any effect or judgment. 

When we are to provide for the education of any 
body of men, we ought seriously to consider the par- 
ticular functions they are to perform in life. A Ro- 
man Catholic clergyman is the minister of a very 
ritual religion, and by his profession subject to many 
restraints. His life is a life full of strict observan- 
ces ; and his duties are of a laborious nature towards 
himself, and of the highest possible trust towards 
others. The duty of confession alone is sufficient 
to set in the strongest light the necessity of his hav- 
ing an appropriated mode of education. The theo- 
logical opinions and peculiar rites of one religion 



230 



ON THE PENAL LAWS 



,4, 



1 1 



1 



never can be properly taught in universities found- 
ed for the purposes and on the principles of another 
which in many points are directly opposite. If a Ro- 
man Catholic clergyman, intended for celibacy and 
the function of confession, is not strictly bred in a 
seminary where these things are respected, inculcat- 
ed, and enforced, as sacred, and not made the subject 
of derision and obloquy, he will be ill fitted for the 
former, and the latter will be indeed in his hands 
a terrible instrument. 

Tliero is a great resemblance between the whole 
frame and constitution of the Greek and Latin 
Churches. The secular clergy in the former, by be- 
ing married, living under little restraint, and having 
no particular education suited to their function, are 
universally fallen into such contempt that they are 
never permitted to aspire to the dignities of their 
own Church. It is not held respectful to call them 
Papas, their true and ancient appellation, but those 
who wish to address them with civility always call 
them Sieromonachi. In consequence of this disre- 
spect, which I venture to say, in such a Church, must 
be the consequence of a secular life, a very great de- 
generacy from reputable Christian manners has tak- 
en place throughout almost the whole of that great 
member of the Christian Church. 

It was so with the Latin Church, before the re- 
straint on marriage. Even that restraint gave rise 
to the greatest disorders before the Council of Trent, 
which, tog,)ther with the emulation raised and the 
good examples given by the Reformed churches, 
wherever they were in view of each other, has 
brought on that happy amendment which we see 
in the Latin communion, both at home and abroad. 



AGAINST IBISH CATHOLICS. 



231 



The Council of Trent has wisely introduced the 
discipline of seminaries, by which priests are not 
trusted for a clerical institution even to the severe 
discipline of their colleges, but, after they pass 
through them, are frequently, if not for the greater 
part, obliged to pass through peculiar methods, hav- 
ing their particular ritual function in view. It is in 
a great measure to this, and to similar methods used 
in foreign education, that the Roman Catholic clergy 
of Ireland, miserably provided for, living among low 
and ill-regulated people, without any discipline of 
sufficient force to secure good manners, have been 
prevented from becoming an intolerable nuisance to 
the country, instead of being, as I conceive they gen- 
erally are, a very great service to it. 

The ministers of Protestant churches require a 
different mode of education, more liberal, and more 
fit for the ordinary intercourse of life. That religion 
having little hold on the minds of people by exter- 
nal ceremonies and extraordinary observances, or 
separate habits of living, the clergy make up the 
deficiency by cultivating their minds with all kinds 
of ornamental learning, which the liberal provision 
made in England and Ireland for the parochial cler- 
gy, (to say no hing of the ample Church preferments, 
with little or no duties annexed,) and the compara- 
tive lightness of parochial duties, enables the greater 
part of them in some considerable degree to accom- 
plish. 

This learning, which I believe to be pretty general, 
together with an higher situation, and more chastened 
by the opinion of mankind, forms a sufficient security 
for the morals of the established clergy, and for their 
sustaining their clerical character with dignity. It 



232 



ON THE PENAL LAWS 



I 



is not necessary to observe, that all these things are, 
however, collateral to their function, and that, except 
in preaching, which may be and is supplied, and 
often best supplied, out of printed books, little else 
is necessary for a Protestant minister than to be able 
to read the English language, — I mean for the exer- 
cise of his function, not to the qualification of his 
admission to it. But a Popish parson in Ireland 
may do very well without any considerable classi- 
cal erudition, or any proficiency in pure or mixed 
mathematics, or any knowledge of civil history. 
Even if the Catholic clergy should possess those 
acquisitions, as at first many of them do, they soon 
lose them in the painful course of professional and 
parochial duties : but they must have all the knowl- 
edge, and, what is to them more important than the 
knowledge, the discipline, necessary to those duties. 
All modes of education conducted by those whoso 
minds are cast in another mould, as I may say, and 
whose original ways of thinking are formed upon 
the reverse pattern, must be to them not only use- 
less, but mischievous. Just as I should suppose the 
education in a Popish ecclesiastical seminary would 
be ill fitted for a Protestant clergyman. To educate 
a Catholic priest in a Protestant seminary would 
be much worse. The Protestant educated amongst 
Catholics has only something to reject: what he 
keeps may be useful. But a Catholic parish priest 
learns little for his peculiar purpose and duty in a 
Protestant college. 

All this, my Lord, I know very well, will pass for 
nothing with those who wish that the Popish clergy 
should be illiterate, and in a situation to produce 
contempt and detestation. Tlieir minds are wholly 






AGAINST IBISH CAIHOUCS. 



283 



taken up with party squabbles, and I have neither 
leisure nor inclination to apply any part of what I 
have to say to those who never think of religion 
or of the commonwealth in any other light than 
as they tend to the prevalence of some faction in 
either. I speak on a supposition that there is a 
disposition to take the state in the condition in which 
it is founds and to improve it in that state to the best 
advantage. Hitherto the plan for the government 
of Ireland has been to sacrifice the civil prosperity 
of the nation to its religious improvement. But if 
people in power there are at length come to enter- 
tain other ideas, they will consider the good order, 
decorum, virtue, and morality of every description 
of men among them as of infinitely greater imp f- 
tance than the struggle (for it is nothing better) o 
change those descriptions by means which put to 
hazard objects which, in my poor opinion, are of 
more importance to religion and to the state than 
all the polemical matter which has been agitated 
among men from the beginning of the world to this 
hour. 

On this idea, an education fitted to each order 
atid division of men, such as they are found, will be 
thought an affair rather to be encouraged than dis- 
countenanced ; and until institutions at home, suit- 
able to the occasions and necessities of the people, 
are established, and which are armed, as they are 
abroad, with authority to coerce the young men to 
be formed in them by a strict and severe discipline, 
the means they have at present of a cheap and 
efifectual education in other countries should not 
continue to be prohibited by penalties and modes 
of inquisition not fit to be mentioned to ears that 



■f 




234 



ON THE PENAL LAWS 




are organized to the chaste sounds of equity and 
justice. 

Before I had written thus far, I heard of a scheme 
of giving to the Castle the patronage of tlie prebiding 
members of the Catholic clergy. At first I could 
scarcely credit it; for I believe it is the first time 
that the presentation to other people's alms has 
been desired in any country. If the state provides 
a suitable maintenance and temporality for the gov- 
erning members of the Irish Roman Catholic Church, 
and for the clergy under them, I shoiild think the 
project, however improper in other respects, to be 
by no means unjust. But to deprive a poor peo- 
ple, who maintain a second set of clergy, out of 
the miserable remains of what is left after taxing 
and tithing, to deprive them of the disposition of 
their own charities among their own communion, 
would, in my opinion, be an intolerable hardship. 
Never were the members of one religious sect fit 
to appoint the pastors to another. Those who have 
no regard for their welfare, reputation, or internal 
quiet will not appoint such as are proper. The se- 
raglio of Constantinople is as equitable as we are, 
whether Catholics or Protestants, — and where their 
own sect is concerned, full as religious. But the 
sport which they make of the miserable dignities 
of the Greek Church, the little factions of the ha- 
rem to which they make them subservient, the con- 
tinual sale to which they expose and reexpose the 
same dignity, and by which they squeeze all the infe- 
rior orders of the clergy, is (for I have had particular 
means of being acquainted with it) nearly equal to 
all the other oppressions together, exercised by Mus- 
sulmeu over the unhappy members of the Oriental 



iUfi 



AGAINST IRISH CATHOLICS. 



235 



Church. It is a great deal to suppose that even the 
present Castle would nominate bishops for the Ro- 
man Church of Ireland with a religious regard for its 
welfare. Perhaps they cannot, perhaps they dare not 
do it. 

But suppose them to be as well inclined as I know 
that I am to do the Catholics all kind of justice, I 
declare I would not, if it were in my power, take 
that patronage on myself. I know I ought not to do 
it. I belong to another community, and it would be 
intolerable usurpation for me to affect such author- 
ity, where I conferred no benefit, or even if I did con- 
fer (as in some degree the seraglio does) temporal ad- 
vantages. But allowing that the present Castle finds 
itself fit to administer the government of a church 
which they solemnly forswear, and forswear with very 
hard words and many evil epithets, and that as often 
as they qualify themselves for the power which is to 
give this very patronage, or to give anything else 
that they desire, — yet they cannot insure themselves 
that a man like the late Lord Chesterfield will not 
succeed to them. This man, while he was duping 
the credulity of Papists with fine words in private, 
and commending their good behavior during a rebel- 
lion in Great Britain, (as it well deserved to be com- 
mended and rewarded,) was capable of urging penal 
laws against them in a speech from the throne, and 
of stimulating with provocatives the wearied and half- 
exhausted bigotry of the then Parliament of Ireland. 
They set to work, but they were at a loss wliat to do ; 
for they had already almost gone througli every con- 
trivance which could waste the vigor of tlieir country : 
but, after much struggle, they produced a child of 
their old age, the shocking and unnatural act about 



% 




286 



ON THE PENAL LAWS 



-«?•. 




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marriages, which tended to finish the scheme for 
making the people not only two distinct parties for 
ever, but keeping them as two distinct species in the 
same land. Mr. Oardiner's humanity was shocked 
at it, as one of the worst parts of that truly barba- 
rous system, if one could well settle the> preference, 
where almost all the parts were outrages on the 
rights of humanity and the laws of Nature. 

Suppose an atheist, playing the part of a bigot, 
should be in power again in that country, do you 
believe that he would faithfully and religiously ad- 
minister the trust of appointing pastors to a church 
which, wanting every other support, stands in tenfold 
need of ministers who will be dear to the people com- 
mitted to their charge, and who will exercise a really 
paternal authority amongst them? But if the su- 
perior power was always in a disposition to dispoiise 
conscientiously, and like an upright trusioo and 
guardian of these rights which he holds for those 
with whom he is at :ance, has he the capacity 
and means of doing it ? How can the Lord-Lieuten- 
ant form the least judgment of their merits, so as to 
discern which of the Popish priests is fit to be made 
a bishop ? It cannot be : the idea is ridiculous. Ho 
will hand them over to lords-lieutenant of counties, 
justices of the peace, and other persons, who, for the 
purpose of vexing and turning to derision this miser- 
able people, will pick out the worst and most obnox- 
ious they can find amongst the clergy to set over the 
rest. Whoever is complained against by his brother 
will be considered as persecuted; whof\er is cen- 
sured by his superior will be looked upon as op- 
pressed; whoever is careless in his opinions and 
loose in his morals will be called a liberal man, and 



JMBi^M 



AGAINST IBISH CATH0UC9. 



237 



will be supposed to have iucurred hatred because he 
was not a bigot. Informers, tale-bearers, perverse and 
obstinate men, flatterers, who turn their back upon 
their flock and court the Protestant gentlemen of 
the country, will bo the objects of preferment. And 
then I run no risk in foretelling that whatever order, 
quiet, and morality you have in the country will be 
lost. A Popish clergy who are not restrained by the 
most austere subordination will become a nuisance, 
a real public grievance of the heaviest kind, in any 
country that entertains them; and instead of the 
great benefit which Ireland does and has long de- 
rived from them, if they are educated without any 
idea of discipline and obedience, and then put under 
bishops who do not owe their station to their good 
opinion, and whom they cannot respect, that nation 
will see disorders, of which, bad as things are, it has 
yet no idea. I do not say this, as thinking the lead- 
ing men m Ireland would exercise this trust worse 
than others. Not at all. No man, no set of men 
Uvmg are fit to administer the affairs or regulate 
the interior economy of a church to which they are 
enemies. 

As to government, if I might recommend a pru- 
dent caution to them, it would be, to innovate as 
little as possible, upon speculation, in establishments 
from which, as they stand, they experience no ma- 
terial inconvenience to the repose of the country, — 
quieUi non movere. 

I could say a great deal more ; but I am tired, and 
am afraid yoUr Lordship is tired too. I have not sat 
to this letter a single quarter of an hour without 
uiterruption. It has grown long, and probably con- 
tains many repetitions, from my total want of leisure 



888 



ON THE PENAL LAWS 



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to digest and coui«olidato my thoughts ; and as to my 
expressions, I could wish to be able perhaps to meas- 
ure tliem more exactly. But my intentions are fair, 
and I certainly mean to offend nobody. 



Thinking over this matter more maturely, I see no 
reason for altering my opinion in any part. The act, 
as far as it goes, is good undoubtedly. It amounts, I 
think, very nearly to a toleration, with respect to re- 
ligious ceremonies ; but it puts a new bolt on civil 
rights, and rivets it to the old one in such a man- 
ner, that neither, I fear, will be easily loosened. 
What I could have wished would be, to see the civil 
advantages take the lead ; the other, of a religious 
toleration, I conceive, would follow, (in a manner,) 
of course. From what I have observed, it is pride, 
arrogance, and a spirit of domination, and not a big- 
oted spirit of religion, that has caused and kept up 
those oppressive statutes. I am sure I have known 
those who have oppressed Papists in their civil rights 
exceedingly indulgent to them in their religious cer- 
emonies, and who really wished them to continue 
Catholics, in order to furnish pretences for oppres- 
sion. These persons never saw a man ( by convert- 
ing) escape out of their power, but with grudging 
and regret. I have known men to whom I am not 
uncharitable in saying (though they are dead) that 
they would have become Papists in order to oppress 
Protestants, if, being Protestants, it was not in their 
power to oppress Papists. It is injustice, and not a 
mistaken conscience, that has been the principle of 
persecution, — at least, as far as it has fallen under 
my observation. — However, as I began, so I end. I 



n' 



AOAIMST IBISH CATHOUCS. 



289 



do not know the map of the country. Mr. Gardiner, 
who conducts this great and difficult work, and those 
who support him, are better judges of the business 
tlian I can pretend to be, who hare not set my foot 
in Ireland these sixteen years. I have been given 
to understand that I am not considered as a friend to 
that country ; and I know that pains have been taken 
to lessen the credit that I might have had there. 

I am so convinced of the weakness of uiterfering 
m any business, without the opinion of the people in 
whose business I interfere, that I do not know how to 
acquit myself of what I have now done. 

I have the honor to be, with high regard and es- 
teem, my Lord, 

Your Lordship's most obedient 

And humble servant, &c. 

Edmund Bubke. 



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LETTER 

SIB HERCULES LANGRISHE, BART., M. P., 

ON TUB SUBJECT Ot 

THE ROMAN CATHOLICS OF lEELAND, 



THE PROPRIETY OF ADMITTINf: THEM TO THE 
ELECTIVE FRANCHISE, CONSISTENTLY WITH 
THE PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTI- 
TUTION, AS ESTABLISHED AT 
THE REVOLUTION. 



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LETTER. 



MY DEAR SIR, — Your remembrance of me, with 
sentiments of so much kindness, has given me 
the most sincere satisfaction. It perfectly agrees with 
the friendly and hospitable reception which my son 
and I received from you some time since, when, after 
an absence of twenty-two years, I liad the happiness 
of embracing you, among my few surviving friends. 

I really imagined that I should not again interest 
myself in any public business. I had, to the best of 
my moderate faculties, paid my club to the society 
which I was born in some way or other to serve ; and 
I thought I had a right to put on my night-gown and 
sHppers, and wish a cheerful evening to the good com- 
pany I must leave behind. But if our resolutions 
of vigor and exertion are so often broken or procrasti- 
nated in the execution, I think we may be excused, if 
we are not very punctual in fulfilling our engagements 
to indolence and inactivity. I have, indeed, no power 
of action, and am almost a cripple even with regard 
to thinkuig ; but you descend with force into the stag- 
nant pool, and you cause such a fermentation as to 
cure at least one unpotent creature of his lameness, 
though it cannot enable him either to run or to 
wrestle. 

You see by the paper * I take that I am likely to 
be long, with malice prepense. You have brought 

* The letter ia written on folio sheeu. 



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244 



LETTEB TO SIB HEBCULES LANOBISHE. 



under my view a su^iject always difficult, at present 
critical. It has filled my thoughts, which I with to 
lay open to you with the clearness and simplicity 
which your friendship demands from me. I thauk 
you for the communication of your ideas. I should 
be still more pleased, if they had been more your 
owu. What you hint I believe to be the case : that, 
if you had not deferred to the judgment of others, 
our opinions would not differ more materially at 
this day than they did when we used to confer on 
the same subject so many years ago. If I still per- 
severe in my old opinions, it is no small comfort to 
me that it is not with regard to doctrines properly 
yours that I discover my indocility. 

The case upon which your letter of the 10th of 
December turns is hardly before me with precision 
enough to enable me to form any very certain judg- 
ment upon it. It seems to be some plan of further 
indulgence proposed for the Catholics of Ireland. 
You observe, that your " general principles are not 
changed, but that times and circumstances are altered." 
I perfectly agree with you, that times and circum- 
stances, considered with reference to the public, ought 
very much to govern our conduct, — though I am far 
from slighting, when applied with discretion to tliose 
circumstances, general principles and maxims of pol- 
icy. I cannot help observing, however, that you have 
said rather less upon the inapplicability of your own 
old principles to the circumstances that are likely to 
influence your conduct against these principles than 
of the general maxims of state, which I can very read- 
ily believe not to have great weight wi'h you per- 
sonally. 

In my present state of imperfect information, you 



LETTER TO SIR HERCULES LANGRISHE. 



245 



will pardon the errors into which I may easily fall. 
The principles you lay down are, " that the Roman 
Catholics should enjoy everything under the state, 
but should not be the state itself." And you add, 
" that, when you e::clude them from being a part of 
the state, you rather conform to the spirit of the age 
than to any abstract doctrine" ; but you consider the 
Constitution as already established, — that our state 
is Protestant. " It was declared so at the Revolution. 
It was so provided in the acts for settling the suc- 
cession of the crown: — the king's coronation oath 
was enjoined in order to keep it so. The king, as 
first magistrate of the state, is obliged to take the 
oath of abjuration,* and to subscribe the Declara- 
tion; and by laws subsequent, every other magis- 
trate and member of the state, legislative and execu- 
tive, are bound under the same obligation." 

As to the plan to which these maxims are applied, 
I cannot speak, as I told you, positively about it: 
because neither from your letter, nor from any in- 
formation I have been able to collect, do I find any- 
thing settled, either on the part of the Roman Catho- 
lics themselves, or on that of any persons who may 
wish to conduct their affairs in Parliament. But if 
I have leave to conjecture, something is in agitation 
towards admitting them, under certain qualifications, 
to have some share in the election of members of Par- 
liament. This I understand is the scheme of those 
who are entitled to come within your description 
of persons of considoration, prop' rty, and character, 
— and firmly attached to the king and Constitution, 
as by " law established, with a grateful sense of your 

• A small error of fact as to the abjuration oath, but of no impor- 
tance in the argument. 



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246 



LETTEB TO SIB HERCULES LANOBISHE. 



former concessions, and a patient reliance on the be- 
nignity of Parliament for the further mitigation of 
the laws that still affect them." — As to the low, 
thoughtless, wild, and profligate, who have joined 
themselves with those of other professions, but of tlie 
same character, you are not to imagine that for a 
moment I can suppose them to be met with anything 
else than the manly and enlightened energy of a firm 
government, supported by the united efforts of all 
virtuous men, if ever their proceedings should be- 
come so considerable as to demand its notice. I re- 
ally think that such associations should be crushed 
in their very commencement. 

Setting, therefore, this case out of the question, 
it becomes an object of very serious consideration, 
whether, because wicked men of various descriptions 
are engaged in seditious courses, the rational, sober, 
and valuable part of one description should not bo 
indulged in their sober and rational expectations. 
You, who have looked deeply into the spirit of the 
Popery laws, must be perfectly sensible tliat a great 
part of the present miscliief wliich we abhor in com- 
mon (if it at all exists) has arisen from them. Their 
declared object was, to reduce the Catliolics of Ireland 
to a miserable populace, without property, without 
estimation, without education. The professed object 
was, to deprive the few men, who, in spite of those 
laws, might hold or obtain any property amongst 
them, of all sort of influence or autliority over the 
rest. Tliey divided tlie nation into two distinct bod- 
ies, without common interest, sympathy, or connec- 
tion. One of tlicse bodies was to possess all the 
franchises, all the property, all the education : tlie 
other was to be composed of drawers of water and 



m 



LETTEB TO SIB HEECULES LANGEI3HB. 



217 



cutters of turf for them. Arc we to be astonished, 
when, by the eflForts of so much violence in conquest, 
and so much policy in regulation, continued without 
intermission for near an hundred years, we had re- 
duced them to a mob, that, whenever they came to 
act at all, many of tliem would act exactly like a 
mob, without temper, measure, or foresight ? Sureiy 
it might be just now a matter of temperate discus- 
sion, whetiicr you ought not to apply a remedy to 
the real cause of the evil. If the disorder you speak 
of be real and considerable, you ought to raise an 
aristocratic interest, that is, an interest of property 
and education, amongst tliem, — and to strengthen, 
by every prudent means, the authority and influence 
of men of that description. It will deserve your best 
thoughts, to examine whether this can be done with- 
out giving such persons the means of demonstrating 
to the rest that something more is to be got by their 
temperate conduct than can be expected from the 
wild and senseless projects of those who do not be- 
long to their body, who have no interest in their well- 
being, and only wish to make them the dupes of their 
turbulent ambition. 

If the absurd persons you mention find no way of 
providing for liberty, but by overturning this happy 
Constitution, and introducing a frantic democracy, 
let us take care how we prevent better people from 
any rational expectations of partaking in the benefits 
of that Constitution as it stands. The maxims you 
establish cut the matter short. They have no sort of 
connection with the good or the ill behavior of the 
persons who seek relief, or with the proper or im- 
proper means by which they seek it. They form a 
perpetual bar to all pleas and to all expectations. 



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248 



LETTEB TO SIB HEBCULES LANOBISHE. 



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Tou begin by asserting, that " the Catholics ought 
to enjoy all things under the state, but that they 
ought not to be the state " : a position which, I be- 
lieve, in the latter part of it, and in the latitude there 
expressed, no man of common sense has ever thought 
proper to dispute ; because the contrary implies that 
the state ought to be in them excluawely. But before 
you have finished the line, you express yourself as if 
the other member of your proposition, namely, that 
" they ought not to be a part of the state," were ne- 
cessarily included in the first, — whereas I conceive it 
to be as dififerent as a part is from the whole, that is, 
just as different as possible. I know, indeed, that it 
is common with those who talk very differently from 
you, that is, with heat and animosity, to confound 
those things, and to argue the admission of the Cath- 
olics into any, however minute and subordinate, parts 
of the state, as a surrender into their hands of the 
whole government of the kingdom. To them 1 have 
nothing at all to say. 

Wishing to proceed witli a deliberative spirit and 
temper in so very serious a question, I shall attempt 
to analyze, as well as I can, the principles you lay 
down, in order to fit them for the grasp of an under 
standing so little comprehensive as mine. — " State," 
— ''Protestant," — "Revolution." These are terms 
which, if not well explained, may lead us into many 
errors. In the word State I conceive there is much 
ambiguity. Tlie state is sometimes used to signify 
the whole commomvealth, comprehending all its orders, 
wi;h the several privileges belonging to each. Some- 
times it signifies only the higher and ruling part of tlie 
commonwealth, which we commonly call the Gov- 
emment. In the first sense, to be under the state, 



i 



^m 



LETTEB TO SIR HEBCULES LANQSISBE. 



249 



but not the state itself, nor any part of it, that is, to 
be nothing at all in the commonwealth, is a situation 
perfectly intelligible, — but to those who fill that sit- 
uation, not very pleasant, when it is understood. It 
is a state of civil servitude, by the very force of the 
definition. Servorum rwn eat respvhlica is a very old 
and a very true maxim. This servitude, which makes 
men subject to a state without being citizens, may be 
more or less tolerable from many circumstances ; but 
these circumstances, more or less favorable, do not al- 
ter the nature of the thing. Tlie mildness by which 
absolute masters exercise their dominion leaves them 
masters still. We may talk a little presently of the 
manner in which the majority of the people of Ire- 
land (the Catholics) are affected by this situation, 
which at present undoubtedly is theirs, and which 
you are of opinion ought so to continue forever. 

In the other sense of the word State, by which is 
understood the Supreme Government only, I must ob- 
serve this upon the question : that to exclude whole 
classes of men entirely IVora this part of government 
cannot bo considered as absolute slavery. It only im- 
plies p. lower and degraded state of citizenship : such 
is (with more or less strictness) the condition of all 
countries in which an hereditary nobility possess the 
exclusive rule. This may be no bad mode of gov- 
ernment, — provided that the personal authority of 
individual nobles be kept in due bounds, that their 
cabals and factions are guarded against witli a severe 
vigilance, and that the people (who have no share in 
granting their own money) are subjected to but light 
impositions, and are otherwise treated with attention, 
and with indulgence to their humors and prejudices. 

The republic of Venice is one of those which sti'ictly 



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confines all the great functions and offices, such as 
are truly state functions and state offices, to those 
who by hereditary right or admission are noble Ve- 
netians. But there are many offices, and some of 
them not mean nor unprofitable, (that of Chancellor 
is one,) which are reserved for the eittadini. Of 
these all citizens of Venice are capable. The inhab- 
itants of the terra firma, who are mere subjects of 
conquest, that is, as you express it, under the state, 
but " not a part of it," are not, however, subjects in 
so very rigorous a sense as not to be capable of num 
berless subordinate employments. It is, indeed, one 
of the advantages attending the narrow bottom of 
their aristocracy, (narrow as compared with their 
acquired dominions, otliiTwise broad enough,) that 
an exclusion from such euiploymeiits cannot possibly 
be made amongst their snlvjects. Tliero are, besides, 
advantages in states so constituted, by which those 
who are considered as of an inferior race are indem- 
nified for theii exclusion from the government, and 
from nobler employments. In all these countries, 
oither by express law, or by usage more operative, 
the noble castes are almost universally, in their turn, 
excluded from commerce, manufacture, farming of 
land, and in geue-al from all lucrative civil profes- 
sions. The nobles have the monopoly of honor ; 
the plebeians c monopoly of all the means of ac- 
quiring wealth. Tims some sort of a balance is 
formed among conditions ; a sort of compensation 
is furnished to those who, in a limited sense, are ex- 
cluded from the government of the state. 

Between the extreme of a total exclusion, to which 
your maxim goes, and an universal unmodified capaci- 
ty, to which the lanatics pratend, there are many 



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LETTEB TO SIB HERCULES LANORISHE. 



2ol 



different degrees and stages, and a gi-cat variety of 
temperaments, upon wlucli i)mdence may cWa fiiU 
scope to its exertions. For yon know that the decis- 
ions of prudence (contrary to the syvtem of the in- 
sane rcasoners) differ from those (/ judicature ; and 
that almost all tlie former arc determined on the 
more or the less, the earlier or the later, and yn a 
balance of advantage and inconvenience, of good and 

evil. 

In all considerations which turn upon the question 
of vesting or continuing the state solely and exclu- 
sively in some one descriptior. of citizens, prudent 
legislators will consider how far the general form and 
principles of their commonwealth render it fil to he cast 
into an oligarchical shape, or tc remain ahcays in it. 
We know that the government of Ireland (the same 
as the British) is not in its constitution whcdlg nristo- 
cratical ; and as it is not such in its form, so nuither 
is it in its spirit. If it had been inveteratcly aristo- 
craucal, exclusions might be more patiently submit- 
ted to. The lot of one plebeian would bo the lot 
of all; and an habitual reverence and admiration of 
certain families might make the people content to 
Ece government wholly in hands to wlioni it seemed 
naturally to belong. But our Constitution has a 
plel>eian member, wliich forms an essential integrant 
part of it. A plebeian oligarchy is a monster ; and 
no people, not absolutely domestic or predial slaves, 
will long endure it. The Protestants of Ireland are 
not alone sufficiently the people to form a democra- 
cy; and they are too numerous to answer the ends 
and purpose's of an aristocracy. Admiration, that 
first source of obedience, can be only the claim or 
the imposture of the few. 1 hold it to be absolutely 



252 



LETTEB TO BIB HERCULES LANOBISBB. 



II 



impossible for two millions of plebeians, composing 
certainly a very clear and decided majority in that 
class, to become so far in love with six or seven hun- 
dred thousand of their fellow-citizens (to all outward 
appearance plebeians like themselves, and many of 
them tradesmen, servants, and otherwise inferior to 
some of them) as to see with satisfaction, or even 
with patience, an exclusive power vested in them, 
by which constitutionally they become the absolute 
masters, and, by the mannera derived from their 
circumstances, must be capable of exorcising upon 
them, dally and hourly, an insulting and vexatious 
superiority. Neither are the majority of the Irish 
indemnified (as In some aristocracies) for this state 
of humiliating vassalage (often inverting the nature 
of things and relations) by having the lower walks 
of industry wholly abandoned to them. They are 
rivallod, to say the least of the matter, in every labo- 
rious and lucrative course of life ; while every fran- 
chise, every honor, every trust, every place, down to 
tlie very lowest and least confidential, ( besides whole 
professions,) is reserved for the master caste. 

Our Constitution is not made for great, general, 
and pro criptive exclusions ; sooner or later it will 
destroy them, or they will destroy the Constitution. 
In our Con<^?' at ion there has always been a ditfor- 
ence between a jranchise and an office, and between 
the capacity for the one and tor the other. Fran- 
chises were supposed to belong to the subject, as a 
subject, and not as a member of the governing part of 
the state. Th3 policy of government has considered 
them as things very differfMit ; for, whilst Parliament 
excluded by the test acts (and for a while these test 
acts were not a dead letter, as now they are in Eng- 



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LETTKB TO BIB HERCULES LANGRISHE. 



258 



land) Irotestant Dissenters from all civil and luili- 
tary employments, thoy never touched their right of 
voting for members of Parliament or fitting in either 
ffuuse : a point I state, not as approving or condemn- 
ing, with regard to them, the measure of exclusion 
from employments, but to prove that the distinction 
has been admitted in legislature, as, in truth, it is 
founded in reason. 

I will not hero examine whether the principles of 
the British [the Irish] Constitution be wise or not. 
I must assume that they are, and that those who 
partake the franchises which make it partake of a 
benefit. They who arc excluded from votes (un- 
der proper qualifications inherent in the Constitu- 
tion that gives them) are excluded, not from the 
state, but from the British Constitution. Tliey can- 
not by any possibility, whilst they hear its praises 
continually rung in their ears, and are present at 
the declaration which is so generally and so brave- 
ly made by those who possess the privilege, that 
the best blood in their veins ought to bo shed to 
preservo their share in it, — they, the disfranchised 
part, cannot, 1 say, think themselves in an happy 
state, to be utterly excluded from all its direct 
and all its consequential advantages. Tiie pojiular 
part of the Constitution must be to them by far the 
most odious part of it. To them it is not an actual, 
and, if possible, still less a virtual representation. It 
is, indeed, the direct contrary. It is power unlimited 
placfjd in the hands of an adverse description because 
U ii an adverse description. And if they who com- 
pose the privileged body have not an interest, they 
must but too frequently have motives of pride, pas- 
sion, petulance, peevish jealousy, or tyrannic suspi- 



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254 



LETTER TO SIB HERCULES LANGRISHE. 



cion, to urge them to treat the excluded people with 
contempt ai.d rigor. 

This is not a mere theory ; though, whilst men are 
men, it is a tlieory that cannot be false. I do not 
desire to revive all the particulars in my memory ; I 
wisli them to sleep forever; but it is impossible I 
should wholly forget what happened in some parts 
of Ireland, with very few and sliort intermissions, 
from tlie year 1761 to the year 1766, both inclu- 
sive. In a country of miserable police, passing from 
the extremes of laxity to the extremes of rigor, among 
a neglected and therefore disorderly populace, if any 
disturbance or sedition, from any grievance real or 
imaginary, happened to arise, it was presently per- 
verted from its true nature, often criminal enough 
in itself to draw upon it a severe, appropriate pun- 
ishment: it was metamorphosed into a conspiracy 
against the state, and prosecuted as such. Amongst 
the Catholics, as being by far the most numerous and 
the most wretched, all sorts of offenders against the 
laws must commonly be found. Tlie punishment of 
low people for the offences usual among low people 
would warrant no hiference against any descriptions 
of religion or of politics. Men of consideration from 
their age, their profession, or their character, men 
of proprietary landed estates, su'istantial renters, opu- 
lent merchants, physicians, and titular bishops, could 
not easily be suspected of riot in open day, or of noc- 
turnal assemblies for the purpose of pulling down 
hedges, making breaches in park-walls, firing barns, 
maiming cattle, and outrages of a similar nature, 
which characterize the disorders of an oppressed or 
a licentious populace. But when the evidence given 
ou the trial for such misdemeanors qualified tliem as 



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LETTEB TO SIB HERCULES LANGBISHB. 



255 



overt acts of high treason, and when witnesses were 
found (such witnesses as they were) to depose to the 
taking of oaths of allegiance by the rioters to the king 
of Prance, to their being paid by his money, and em- 
bodied and exercised under his officers, to overturn 
the state for the purposes of that potentate, — in that 
case, the rioters might (if the witness was believed) 
be supposed only the troops, and person's more repu- 
table the leaders and commanders, in such a rebellion. 
All classes in the obnoxious description, who could 
not be suspected of the lower crime of riot, might be 
involved in the odium, in the suspicion, and some- 
times in the punishment, of a higher and far more 
criminal species of offence. These proceedings did 
not arise from any one of the Popery laws since 
repealed, but from this circumstance, that, when it 
answered the purposes of an election party or a 
malevolent person of influence to forge such plots, 
the people had no protection. The people of that 
description have no hold on the gentlemen who 
aspire to be popular representatives. The candi- 
dates neither love nor respect nor fear them, indi- 
vidually or collectively. I do not think this evil (an 
evil amongst a thousand others) at this day entirely 
over ; for I conceive I have lately seen some indica- 
tion of a disposition perfectly similar to the old one, — 
that is, a disposition to carry the imputation of crimes 
from persons to descriptions, and wholly to alter the 
character and quality of the offences themselves. 

This universal exclusion seems to me a serious evil, 
— because many collateral oppressions, besides what 
I have just now stated, have arisen from it. In things 
of this nature it would not be either easy or proper 
to quote chapter and verse ; but I have great reason 



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LETTEB TO SIB HERCULES LANOBISHE. 



to believe, particukrly since the Octennial Act, that 
several have refused at all to let their lands to Ro- 
man Catholics, because it would so far disable them 
from promoting such iuterests in counties as they 
were inclined to favor. They who consider also the 
state of all sorts of tradesmen, shopkeepers, and par- 
ticularly publicans in towns, must soon discern the 
disadvantages under which those labor who have no 
votes. It cannot be otherwise, whilst the spirit of 
elections and the tendencies of human nature con- 
tinue as they are. If property be artificially separat- 
ed from franchise, the franchise must in some way 
or other, and in some proportion, naturally attract 
property to it. Many are the collateral disadvanta- 
ges, amongst a priviha <1 people, which must attend 
on those who have no privileges. 

Among the rich, each individual, with or without a 
franchise, is of importance ; the poor and the middling 
are no otherwise so than as they obtain some collec- 
tive capacity, and can be aggregated to some corps. 
If legal ways are not found, illegal will be resorted 
to; and seditious clubs and confederacies, such as 
no man livuig holds in greater horror than I do, will 
grow and flourish, in spite, I am afraid, of anything 
which can be done to prevent the evil. Lawful en- 
joyment is the surest method to prevent unlawful 
gratification. Where there is property, there will be 
less theft ; whore there is marriage, there will always 
be less fornication. 

I have said enough of the question of state, as it 
affects the people merely as such. But it is compli- 
cated with a political question relative -o religion, to 
which it is very necessary I should say something, — 
because the term Protestant, which you apply, is too 



LETTER TO SIB HERCULES LANGRISHE. 



257 



general for the conclusions which one of your accu- 
rate understanding would wish to draw from it, and 
because a great deal of argument will depend on the 
use that is made of that term. 

It is not a fundariental part of the settlement at 
the Revolution that the state should be Protestant 
without any qualification of the term. With a qualifi- 
cation it is unquestionably true ; not in all its lati- 
tude. With the qualification, it was true before the 
Revolution. Our predeccj'sors in legislation were not 
so irrational (not to say impious) as to form an op- 
erose ecclesiastical establihliment, and even to render 
the state itself in some degree subservient to it, when 
their religion (if such it might be called) was noth- 
ing but a mere negation of some other, — without any 
positive idea, either of doctrine, discipline, worship, 
or morals, in the scheme whicli they professed tliem- 
selves, and which they impoFod upon others, even 
under penalties and incapacities. No ! No ! This 
never could have been done, even by reasonable athe- 
ists. They who think religion of no importance to 
the state have abandoned it to the conscience or 
caprice of the individual; they make no provision 
for it wliatsoever, but leave every club to make, or 
not, a voluntary contribution towards its support, ac- 
cording to their fancies. This would be consistent. 
Tlie other always appeared to me to be a monster of 
contradiction and absurdity. It was for "hat reason, 
that, some years ago, I strenuously opposed the cler- 
gy who petitioned, to the number of about three 
hundred, to be freed from the subscription to the 
Thirty-Nino Articles, without proposing to substitute 
any other in their place. Tliere never has been a 
religion of the state (the few years of the Parliament 



VOL. IV. 



17 



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LETTEB TO SIB HEBCCLE3 LANOBISHE. 



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only excepted) but that of the Episcopal Church oj 
England: the Episc -lal Church of England, before 
the Reformation, connected with the sec of Rome ; 
since then, disconnected, and protesting ngainst some 
of her doctrines, and against tlie whole of her author- 
ity, as binduig in our national church : nor did the 
fundamental laws of this kingdom (in Ireland it has 
been the same) ever know, at any period, any other 
church as an object of eatahlishnient, — or, in that light, 
any other Protestant religion. Nay, our Protestant 
toleration itself, at the Revolution, atid until within 
a few years, required a signatare of thirty-six, and 
a part of the thirty-seventh, out of the Thirty-Nine 
Articles. So little idea had they at the Revolution 
of establishing Protestantism indefinitely, that they dio 
not indefinitely tolerate it under that name. I do not 
nean to praise that strictness, where nothing more 
than merely religious toleration is concerned. Tol- 
eration, being a part of moral and political prudence, 
ought to be tender and large. A tolerant govern- 
ment ought not to be too scrupulous in its investi- 
gations, but may bear without blame, not only very 
ill-grounded doctrines, but even mu.ny things that 
are positively vices, where they are adidta et prceva- 
lida. The good of the commonwealtli is the rule 
which rides over the rest; and to this every other 
must completely submit. 

The Church of Scotland knows as little of Protes- 
tantism undefined as the Church of England and Ire- 
land do. She has by the articles of union secured to 
herself the perpetual establishment of the Confession 
of Faith, and the Presbyterian Church government. 
In England, even during the troubled interregnum, 
it was not thought fit to establish a negative religion : 



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LETTEB TO SIR HEBCCLE3 LANGEI3HE. 



259 



but the Parliament settled tlie Presbyterian as the 
Church discipline, the Directory as the rule of public 
worship, and the Westminster Catechism as the insti- 
tute oi faith. This is to show that at no time was 
the Protestant religion, undefined, established here or 
anywhere else, as I believe. I am sure, that, when 
the three religions were establislicd in Germany, tliey 
were expressly characterized and declared to be tlio 
Evangelic, the Reformed, and the Catholic; each of 
which has its confession of faith and its settled disci- 
pline : fo that you always may know the best and the 
worst of them, to enable you to make Jie most of 
what is good, and to correct or to qualify or to guard 
against whatever may seem evil or dangerous. 

As to the coronation oath, to which you allude, as 
opposite to admitting a Roman Catholic to the use 
of any franchise wliatsoever, I cannot think that the 
king would be perjured, if he gave his assent to any 
regulation which Parliament might think fit to make 
with regard to that afTuir. Tlie king is bound by 
law, as clearly specified in several acts of Parliamen :, 
to be in communion with the Cluirch of England. It 
is a part of the tenure by which he holds his crown ; 
and though no provision was made till *he Revolu- 
tion, which could be called positive :.id valid in law, 
to ascertain this great principle, I have always con- 
sidered it as in fact fundamental, that the king of 
England should be of the Christian religion, accord- 
ing to the national legal church for the time being. 
I conce'-e it was so before the Reformation. Since 
the Reformation it became dciibly necessary ; because 
the king is the head of that church, in some sort an 
ecclesiastical person, — and it would be incon -ruous 
and absurd to have the head of the Church of one 






fr 




260 




LETTER TO BIB HERCULES LANGRISUE. 



faith, and the members of another. The king may 
inherit the crown as a Protestant; but he cannot ?wld 
it, according to law, without being a Protestant of the 
Church of England. 

Before we take it for granted that the king is 
bound by his coronation oath not to admit any of 
his Catholic subjects to the rights and liberties which 
ought to belong to them as Englishmen, (not as re- 
ligionists,) or to settle the conditions or proportions 
of such admission by an act of Parliament, I wish 
you to place before your eyes that oath itself, as it 
is settled in the act of William and Mary. 

" Will you to the utmost of your power maintain 

12 8 

the laws of God, the true profession of the Gospel, 
and the Protestant Reformed Religion established by 

6 

law? And will you preserve unto the bishops and 
clergy of this realm, and to the churches committed 
to their charge, all such rights and privileges as by 
law do or shall appertain imto them, or any of them ? 
— All this I promise to do." 

Here are the coronation engagements of the king. 
In them I do not find one word to preclude his Maj- 
esty from consenting to any arrangement which Par- 
liament may make with regard to the civil privileges 
of any part of his subjects. 

It may not be amiss, on account of the light which 
it will throw on this discussion, to look a little more 
narrowly into the matter of that oath, — in orde» to 
discover how far it has hitherto operated, r how far 
in future it ought to operate, as a bar to ^ny pro- 
ceedings of the crown and Parliament in favor of 



II 



LETTEB TO SIB HERCULES LANOBISHE. 



261 



atively t 
will ma- 
This lee 
ture; fcr 



those against whom it may bo supposed that the king 
has engaged to support the Protestant Church of Eng- 
land in the two kingdoms in which it is established 
by law. First, the king swears he will maintain to 
the utmost of his power " the laws of God." I sup- 
pose it means the natural moral laws. — Secondly, 
he swears to maintain "the true profession of the 
Gospel." '^■r wMch I suppose is understood affirm- 
an religion. — Thirdly, that he 
lie Protestant reformed religion." 
J power of supposition or conjec- 
, Prote; .nt reformed religion is defin- 
ed and described by the subsequent words, "estab- 
lished by law " ; and in this instance, to define it 
beyond all possibility of doubt, he swears to main- 
tain the " bishops and clergy, and the churches com- 
mitted to their charge," in their rights present and 

future. 

The oath as effectually prevents the king from do- 
ing anything to the prejudice of the Church, in favor 
of sectaries, Jews, Mahometans, or plain avowed infi- 
dels, as if he should do the same thing in favor of 
the Catholics. You will see that it is the same Prot- 
estant Church, so described, that the king is to main- 
tain and communicate with, according to the Act of 
Settlement of the 12th and 13th of William the Tliird. 
The act of the 5th of Anne, made in prospect of the 
Union, is entitled, " An act for securing the Church 
of England as by law established." It meant to guard 
the Church implicitly against any other mode of Prot- 
estant religion which might creep in by means of the 
Union. It provcf beyond all doubt, that the legisla- 
ture did not mean to guard the Church on one part 
only, and to leave it defenceless and exposed upon 




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262 



LETTL.. TO SIR HEBCn K3 LANORISHt. 



. .Is* 3 



every other. This church, in that act, is declared to 
be " fundamental and essential " forever, in iio Con- 
stitution of the United Kingdom, so far as England 
is concerned ; and I suppose, as the law stands, even 
since the independence, it is so in Ireland. 

All this shows that tl»e religion wliicli the king is 
bound to maintain has a positive part in it, as well 
as a negative, — and that the positive part of it (in 
which we are in perfect agreement with the Catholics 
and with the Church of Scotland) is infinitely the 
most valuable and essential. Such an agreement we 
had with Protestant Dissenters in England, of those 
descriptions who came under the Toleration Act of 
King William and Queen Mary : an act coeval with 
the Revolution ; and which ought, on the principles 
of the gentlemen who oppose the relief to the Catho- 
lics, to have been held sacred and unalterable. Wheth- 
er wo agree with the present Protestant Dissenters in 
the points at the Revolution held essential and fun- 
damental among Christians, or in any other funda- 
mental, at present it is impossible for us to know: 
because, at their own very earnest desire, wo have re- 
pealed the Toleration Act of William and Mary, and 
discharged them from the signature required by that 
act ; and because, for the far greater part, they pul)- 
licly declare against all manner of confessions of faith, 
even the Consensus. 

For reasons forcible enough at all times, but at 
this time particularly forcible with me, I dwell a 
little tlie longer upon this : ^atter, and take the 
moro pains, to put us both in mind that it was 
not settled at the Revolution that the state should 
be Protestant, in the latitude of the term, but in 
a defined and limited sense only, and that in that 



LETTBB TO SIR HERCtTLES LANORISHE. 



263 



sense only the king is sworn to maintain it. To 
suppose that the king has sworn with his utmost 
power to maintain wliat it is wholly out of his 
power to discover, or which, if he could discover, 
ho might discover to consist of things directly con- 
tradictory to each other, ouio of them perhaps im- 
jpioiis, hlasphemous, and seditious upon principle, 
would be not ly a gross, but a most mischiev- 
ous absurdity. *■ mere dissent from the Church of 
Rome be a merit, l.o that dissents the most perfectly 
is the most meritorious. In many points we hold 
strongly with that church. He that dissents through- 
out with that church will dissent with the Cliurch 
of England, and then it will be a part of his merit 
that he dissents with ourselves: a whimsical spe- 
cies of merit for any set of men to establish. We 
quarrel to extremity with those who we know ag eo 
with us in many things ; but we are to be so mali- 
cious even in the principle - 1 our friendships, that 
we are to cherish in our bosom those who accord 
with us in nothing, because, whilst . ..ey despise our- 
selves, they abhor, even more than we do, those with 
whom we have some disagreement. A man is cer- 
tainly the most perfect Protestant who protests 
against the whole Christian religion. Whether a 
person's having no Christian religion be a title to 
favor, in exclusion to the largest description of Chris- 
tians, who hold all the doctrines of Christianity, though 
holding along with them some errors and some super- 
fluities, is rather more than any man, who has not 
become recreant and apostate from his baptism, will, 
I believe, choose to affirm. The countenance given 
from a spirit of controversy to that negative religion 
may by degrees encourage light and unthinking peo- 




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264 



LETTER TO SIR HERCCLES LAN0R19HE. 



pie to a total indifieronco to everything positiro in 
matters of doctrine, and, in the end, of practice too. 
If continued, it would play the game of tliat sort of 
active, proselytizing, and persecuting atheism whiclj 
is the disgrace and calamity of our time, and which 
we see to be as capable of subverting a government 
as any mode can be of misguided zeal for bettor 
things. 

Nuw let us fairly see what course has been taken 
relative to those against whom, iu part at least, the 
king has sworn to maintain a cimrch, positive in its 
doctrine and it$ discipline. Tlie first thing done, even 
when tlie oath was fresh in the mouth of the sover- 
eigns, was to give a toleration to Protestant Dissent- 
ers whose doctrines they ascertained. As to the mere 
civil privileges i. the Dissenters held as subjects 
before the Kevolutiou, these were not touched at all. 
The laws have fully permitted, in a qualification for 
all offices, to sucli Dissenters, an occasional conform- 
it}/: a thing I believe singular, where tests are ad- 
mitted. The act, called the Test Act, itself, is, with 
regard to them, grown to be hardly anything more 
than a dead letter. Whenever the Dissenters cease 
by their conduct to give any alarm to the govern- 
ment, in Church and State, I think it very probable 
that even this matter, rather disgustful than incon- 
venient to them, may be removed, or at least so mod- 
ified as to distinguish the qualification to those offices 
which really guide the state from those which are 
merdi/ instrumental, or that some other and better 
tests may be put in their place. 

So far as to England. In Ireland you have outran 
us. .thout waiting for an English example, you 
ha\. totally, and without any modification whatso- 



J 



LBTTEB TO SIB HEBCULES LANOBISHE. 



265 



ever, repealed the test as to Protestant Dissenters. 
Not having the repealing act by me, 1 ought not to 
say positively that there is no oxcoptiou iu it ; hut if 
it 'je what I suppose it is, you know very well that a 
Jew in religion, or a Mahometan, or even a public, 
declared atheist and blasphemer, is porlcctly qualified 
to be Lord-Lieutenant, a lonl-justieo, or even '-ieper 
of the king's conscience, and by virtue of his oiJce 
(if wi*h you it bo as it is with us) admiuistiutor to 
a great part of the ecclesiastical patronage of ^h« 
crown. 

Now let us deal a little fairly. We . ' '. admit 
that Protestant Dissent was one of the quui.vrs from 
which danger was apprehended at the Revolution, 
and against which a part of the coronation oath was 
peculiarly directed. By this unqualified repeal you 
certainly did not mean to deny that it was the duty 
of the crown to preserve the Clmrcli against Protes- 
tant Dissenters ; or taking this to be the true sense 
of tlie two Revolution acts of Khig William, and of 
the previous and subsequent Union acts of Queen 
Anne, you did not declare by this most unqualifie' 
repeal, by which you broke down all the barriers, 
not invented, indeed, but c iily preserved, at the 
Revolution, — you did not then and by that proceed- 
ing declare that you had advised the king to perjury 
towards God and perfidy towards the Church. No ! 
far, very far from it ! You never would have done it, 
if you did not think it could be done with perfect re- 
pose to the royal conscience, and perfect safety to the 
national established religion. You did this upon a 
full consideration of the circumstances of your coun- 
try. Now, if circumstances required it, why should 
it be contrary to the king's oath, his Parliament judg- 



i"f JE tWA^ 


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*iH 





266 



LETTEB TO SIB HERCULES LANQBI8HE. 



ing on those circumstances, to restore to his Catholic 
people, ill such measure and with such modifications 
as the public wisdom shall think proper to add, some 
part in these franchises which they formerly had held 
without any limitation at all, and which, upon no sort 
of urgent reason at the time, they were deprived of? 
If sucli means can with any probability be shown, 
from circumstances, rather to add strength to our 
mixed ecclesiastical and secular Constitution than to 
weaken it, surely they are means infinitely to be 
preferred to penalties, incapacities, and proscriptions, 
continued from generation to generation. Tiiey are 
perfectly consistent with the other parts of the cor- 
onation oath, in which the king swears to maintain 
" the laws of God and the true profession of the 
Gospel, and to govern the people according to tlie 
statutes in Parliament agreed upon, and the laws 
and customs of the realm." In consenting to such 
a statute, the crown would act at least as agreeable 
to the laws of God, and to the true profession of the 
Gospel, and to the laws and customs of the kingdom, 
as George the First did, when he passed the statute 
which took from the body of the people everything 
which to that hour, and even after the monstrous 
acts of the 2nd and 8th of Anne, (the objects of our 
common hatred,) they still enjoyed inviolate. 

It is hard to distinguish with the last degree of 
accuracy what laws are fundamental, and what not. 
However, there is a distinction between them, author- 
ized by the writers on jurisprudence, and recognized 
in some of our statutes. I admit the acts of Kuig 
William and Queen Anne to be fundamental, but 
ihey are not the only fundamental laws. The law 
called Maffna Charta, by which it is provided that 



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LEITEB TO SIB HERCULES LANQBISHE. 



267 



« no man shall be disseised of his liberties and free 
customs but by the judgment of his peers or the laws 
of the land," (meaning clearly, for some proved crime 
tried and adjudged,) I take to be a fundamental law. 
Now, althougli this Magna Charta, or some of tlie 
statutes establishing it, provide that that law shall 
be perpetual, and all statutes contrary to it shall be 
void, yet I cannot go so far as to deny the authority 
of statutes made in defiance of Magna Cliarta and all 
its principles. This, however, I will say, — that it ia 
a very venerable law, made by very wise and learned 
men, and that the legislature, in their attempt to per. 
petuate it, even against the authority of future Par- 
liaments, have shown their judgment that it is fun- 
damental, on the same grounds and in the same 
manner that the act of the fifth of Anne has con- 
sidered and declared the establishment of the Church 
of England to bo fundamental. Magna Cliarta, which 
secured these fran- hises to the subjects, regarded the 
rights of freeholders in counties to be as much a fun- 
damental part of the Constitution as the establish- 
ment of the Church of England was tliought either 
at that time, or in the act of King William, or in the 
act of Queen Anne. 

The churchmen who led in that transaction cer- 
tainly took care of the material interest of which they 
were the natural guardians. It is the first article of 
Magna Charta, " that the Church of England shall bo 
free," Ac, &c. But at that period, churchmen and 
barons and knights took care of tlie franchises and 
free customs of the people, too. Those franchises are 
part of the Constitution itself, and inseparable from 
it. It would be a very strange thing, if there should 
uot only exist anomalies in our laws, a thing not easy 






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LETTEB TO SIB HEBCULES LANGBISHE. 



to prevent, but that the fundamental parts of the 
Constitution should be perpetually and irreconcila- 
bly at variance with each other. I cannot persuade 
myself that the lovers of our church are not as able to 
find effectual ways of ruconcilmg its safety with the 
franchises of the people as tlie ecclesiastics of the thir- 
teenth century were able to do; I cannot conceive 
how anything worse can be said of the Protestant 
religion of the Churcli of England than this, — that, 
wherever it is judged proper to give it a legal estab- 
lishment, it becomes necessary to deprive the body 
of the people, if they adhere to their old opinions, of 
" their liberties and of all their free customs," and to 
reduce them to a state of civil servitude. 

There is no man on earth, I believe, more willuig 
than I am to lay it down as a fundamental f the 
Constitution, that the Church of England should be 
united and even identified with it ; but, allowing this, 
I caimot allow that all laws of regulation, made from 
time to time, in support of that fundamental law, are 
of course equally fundamental and equally unchange- 
able. This would be to confound all the branches of 
legislation and of jurisprudence. The crown and the 
personal safety of the monarch are fundamentals in 
our Constitution: yet I hope that no man regrets 
that the rabble of statutes got together during the 
reign of Henry the Eighth, by which treasons are 
multiplied with so prolific an energy, have been all 
repealed in a body ; although they were all, or most 
of them, made in support of things truly fundamental 
in our Constitution. So were several of the acts by 
which the crown exercised its supremacy: such as 
the act of Elizabeth for making the high commission 
courts, and the like ; as well as things made treason 



Mi 



LETTER TO SIB HERCULES LANOBISHB. 



269 



in the time of Charles the Second. None of this spe- 
cies of secondary and mbsidiary laws have been held 
fundamental. They have yielded to circumstances ; 
particularly where they were thought, even in their 
consequences, or obliquely, to affect other fundamen- 
tals. How much more, certainly, ought they to give 
way, when, as in our case, they affect, not here and 
there, in some particular point, or in their conse- 
quence, but universally, collectively, and directly, 
the fundamental franchises of a people equal to tho 
whole inhabitants of several respectable kingdoms 
and states : equal to the subjects of the kings of Sar- 
dinia or of Denmark; equal to those of the United 
Netherlands ; and more than are to be found in all 
the states of Switzerland. Tliis way of proscribing 
men by whole nations, as it were, from all the bene- 
fits of the Constitution to which they were born, I 
never can believe to be politic or expedient, much 
less necessary for the existence of any state or church 
in the world. Whenever I shall be convinced, which 
will be late and reluctantly, tliat the safety of the 
Church is utterly inconsistent with all the civil rights 
whatsoever of the far larger part of the inhabitants of 
our country, I shall be extremely sorry for it; be- 
cause I shall think the Church to be tnily in danger. 
It is putting things into the position of an ugly alter- 
native, into which I hope in God they never will be 
put. 

I have said most of what occurs to me on the top- 
ics you touch upon, relative to the religion of the 
king, and his coronation oath. I shall conclude the 
observations which I wished to submit to you on this 
point by assuring you that I think you the most re- 
mote that can be conceived from the metaphysicians 



s 

I 

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4! iv 




270 



LETTBB TO SIB HERCULES LANORISHE. 



of our times, who are the most foolish of men, and 
who, dealing in universals and essences, see no dif. 
ferenne between more and less, — and who of course 
would think that the reason of the law which obliged 
the king to be a communicant of the Church of Eng- 
land would be as valid to exclude a Catholic from 
being an exciseman, or to deprive a man who has 
five hundred a year, under that description, from 
voting on a par with a factitious Protestant Dissent- 
ing freeholder of forty shillings. 

Recollect, my dear friend, that it was a fundamen- 
tal principle in the French monarchy, whilst it stood, 
that the state should be Catholic ; yet the Edict of 
Nantes gave, not a full ecclesiastical, but a complete 
civil establishment, with places of which only they 
were capable, to the Calvinists of Prance, — and there 
were very few employments, indeed, of which they 
were not capable. The world praised the Cardinal 
de Richelieu, who took the first opportunity to strip 
them of their fortified places and cautionary towns. 
The same world held and does hold in execration (so 
far as tliat business is concerned) the memory of 
Louis the Fourteenth, for the total repeal of that 
favorable edict ; thougli the talk of " fundamental 
laws, established religion, religion of the prince, 
safety to the state," &c., &c., was then as largely 
held, and with as bitter a revival of tlie animosities 
of the civil confusions during the struggles between 
the parties, as now they can be in Ireland. 

Perhaps there are persons who think that the same 
reason does not hold, when the relisrJous relation of the 
sovereign and subject is changed ; out they who have 
their shop full of false weights and measures, and 
who imagine that the adding or taking awav the 



LETTEB TO SIB HERCULES LAN0B19HE. 271 

name of Protestant or Papist, Guelph or Ghibelline, 
alters all the principles of equity, policy, and pru- 
dence, leave us no common data upon which we can 
reason. I therefore pass by all this, which on you 
will make no impression, to come to what seems to 
be a serious consideration in your mind : I mean the 
dread you express of » reviewing, for the purpose of 
altering, the principJ'is of the Revolution." This is an 
interesting topic, on which I will, as fully as your 
leisure and mine permits, lay before you the ideas 
I have formed. 

First, I cannot possibly confound in my lumd all 
the things which were done at the Revolution with 
the principles of the Revolution, is in most great 
changes, many things were done from the necessities 
of the time, well or ill understood, from passion or 
from vengeance, wiiich were not only not perfectly 
agreeable to its principles, biit in the mcst direct cou- 
tr°adiction to them. I shall not think that the depri- 
vation of some millions of people of all the rights of 
citizens, and all interest in the Constitution, in and to 
which they tvere bom, was a tiling conformable to the 
declared principles of the Revolution. This I am sure 
is true r . j,tively to England (where the operation of 
these anti-principles comparatively were of little ex- 
tent) ; and some of our late laws, in repealing acts 
made immediately aftei tho Revolution, adm't that 
some things then done were not done in the true 
spirit of the Revolution. But the Revolution op- 
e. ited differently in England and Ireland, in many, 
and these essential particulars. Supposing tha prin- 
ciples to have been altogether the same in both king- 
doms, by the apph"' tion of those principles to very 
different objects the whole spirit of the system was 



272 



LETTEB TO SIB HERCULES LANOBISHE 




|i 



t 
J 

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Mi 



changed, not to say reversed. In England it was tbo 
struggle of the great body of the people for the estab- 
lishment of their liberties, against the efforts of a very 
small faction, who would have oppressed them. In 
Ireland it was the establishment of the power of the 
smaller number, at the expense of the civil liberties 
and properties of the far greater part, and at the ex- 
pense of the political liberties of the whole. It was, 
to say the truth, not a revolution, but a conquest : 
which is not to say a great deal in its favor. To in- 
sist on everything done in Ireland at the Revolution 
would be to insist on the severe and jealous policy of 
a conqueror, in the crud settlement of his new acqui- 
sition as a permanent rule for its future government. 
This no powe/, in no country that ever I heard of, 
has done or professed to do, — except in Ireland; 
where it is done, and possibly by some people will 
be professed. Time has, by degrees, in all other 
places and periods, blended and coalited the con- 
quered with the conquerors. So, after somo time, 
and after one of the most rigid conquests that wo 
read of in history, the Normans softened mto the Eng- 
lish. I wish you to turn your recollection to the 
fine speech of Ccrealis to the Gauls, made to dissuade 
them from revolt. Speaking of the Romans, — " Nos 
quamvis toties lacessiti, jure victories id solum vobis 
addidimus, quo pacem tueremur: nam neque quies 
gentium sine armis, neque arma sine stipendiis, ne- 
que stipendia sine tributis haberi queant. Ccetera 
in communi aita sunt: ipsi plerumque nostris exer- 
citibus prcesidetis : ipsi has aliasque provincias regi- 
tis: nil sfparatum clausumvc. Proinde pacem et 
urbem, quam vietores victique eodem Jure obtinemus, 
amate, colite." You will consider whether the ar- 



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LETTEB TO BIB HEBCtTLES LANGBI3HE. 



273 



guments used by that Roman to these Gauls would 
apply to the case in Ireland, — and whether you could 
use so plausible a preamble to any severe warning 
you might think it proper to hold out to those who 
should resort to sedition, instead of application, to 
obtain any object that they may pursue with the gov- 
erning power. 

For a much longer period than that which had suf- 
ficed to blend the Romans with the nation to which of 
all otheis they were the most adverse, the Protestants 
settled in Ireland considered themselves in no other 
light than that of a sort of a colonial garrison, to 
keep the natives in subjection to the other state of 
Great Britain. The whole spirit of tlip Revolution 
in Ireland was that of not the mildest conqueror. 
In truth, the spirit of those proceedings did not com- 
mence at that era, nor was religion of any kind their 
primary object. What was done was not in the spirit 
of a contest between two religious factions, but be- 
tween two adverse nations. The statutes of Kilkenny 
show that the spirit of the Popery laws, and some 
even of their actual provisions, as applied between 
Englishry and Irishry, had existed in that harassed 
country before the words Protestant and Papist were 
heard of in the world. If we read Baron Finglas, 
Spenser, and Sir John Davies, we cannot miss the 
true genius and policy of the English government 
there before Jie Revolution, as well as during the 
wliole reign of Queen Elizabeth. Sir John Davies 
boasts of the benefits received by the natives, by ex- 
tending to them the English law, and turning the 
whole kingdom into shire ground. But the appear- 
ance of things alone was changed. The original 
scheme was never deviated from for a single hour. 



•1 * 

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TOL. IV. 



18 





274 



LETTEB TO SIB HEBCTTLEt^ LANORISHE. 



Unheard-of confiscations were made in the northern 
parts, upon grounds of plots and conspiracies, never 
proved upon their supposed authors. The war of 
chicane succeeded to the war of arms and of hostile 
statutes ; and a regular series of operations was car- 
ried on, particularly from Chichester's time, in the 
ordinary courts of justice, and by special commissioiis 
and inquisitir:xs, — first under pretence of tenures, 
and then of titles in the crown, for the purpose of the 
total extirpation of the interest of the natives in their 
own soil, — until this species of subtle ravage, being 
carried to the last excess of oppression and insolence 
under Lord Strafford, it kindled the flames of that 
rebellion which broke out in 1641. By the issue of 
that war, by the turn which the Earl of Clarendon 
gave to things at the Restoration, and by the total 
reduction of the kingdom of Ireland in 1691, the 
ruin of the native Irish, and, in a great measure, too, 
of the first races of the English, was completely ac- 
complished. The new English interest was settled 
with as solid a stability as anything hi human affairs 
can look for. All the penal laws of that -nparallelod 
code of oppression, which were made afier the last 
event, were manifestly the effects of national hatred 
and scorn towards a conquered people, whom the 
victors delighted to trample upon and were not at 
all afraid to provoke. They were not the effect of 
their fears, but of their security. They wlio carried 
on this system looked to the irresistible force of Great 
Britain for their support in their acts of power. 
They were quite certain that no complaints of the 
natives would be heard on this side of the water witli 
any other sentiments than those of contempt and in- 
dignation. Their cries served only to augment their 



, iv. i • 



LEITEB TO SIB HERCULES LANGRISHE. 



276 



torture. Machines which could answer their pur- 
poses 80 well must be of an excellent contrivance. 
Indeed, in England, the double name of the complain- 
ants, Irish and Papists, (it would be hard to say 
which singly was the most odious,) shut up the 
hearts of every one against them. Whilst that tem- 
per prevailed, (and it prevailed in all its force to a 
time within our memory,) every measure was pleasing 
and popular just in proportion as it tended to harass 
and ruin a set of people who were looked upon as en- 
emies to God and man, and, indeed, as a race of big- 
oted savages who were a disgrace to human nature 
itself. 

However, as the English in Ireland began to be 
domiciliated, they began also to recollect that they 
had a country. The Englinh interest, at first by faint 
and almost insensible degrees, but at length openly 
and avowedly, became an independent Irish interest, 
— full as independent as it could ever have been if it 
had continued in the persons of the native Irish ; and 
it was maintained with more skill and more consist- 
ency than probably it would have been in theirs. 
With their views, the Anglo-Irish changed their max- 
ims: it was necessary to demonstrate to the whole 
people that there was something, at least, of a com- 
mon interest, combined with the independency, which 
was to become the object of common exertions. Tlie 
mildness of government produced the first relaxation 
towards the Irish ; the necessities, and, in part, too, 
the temper that predominated at this great change, 
produced the second and the most important of these 
relaxations. English government and Irish legisla- 
ture felt jointly the propriety of this measure. The 
Irish Parliament and nation became independent. 



♦1 

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276 



LETTEB TO SIB HXBCITLES LAMOIUBBB. 



'■1 ] 



1, ■■ 



^ i 



The true revolution to you, that which most in- 
trinsically and substantially resembled the English 
Revolution of 1688, was the Irish Revolution of 
1782. The Irish Parliament of 1782 bore little re- 
semblance to that which sat in that kingdom after 
the period of the first of these revolutions. It bore 
a much nearer resemblance to that which sat under 
King James. The change of the Parliament in 1782 
from the character of the Parliament which, as a to- 
ken of its indignation, had burned all the journals 
indiscriminately of the former Parliament In the 
Council-Chamber, was very visible. The address of 
King William's Parliament, the Parliament which as- 
sembled after the Revolution, amongst other causes 
of ccnplaint (many of them sufficiently just) com- 
plains of the repeal by their predecessors of Poyn- 
ings's law, — no absolute idol with the Parliament of 
1782. 

Great Britain, finding the Anglo-Irish highly ani- 
mated with a spirit which had indeed shown itself 
before, though with little energy and many inter- 
ruptions, and therefore sufiered a multitude of uni- 
form precedents to be established against it, acted, 
in my opinion, with the greatest temperance and 
wisdom. She saw that the disposition of the lead- 
ing part of the nation would not permit them to act 
any longer the part of a garrison. She saw that true 
policy did not require that they ever should have ap- 
peared in that character ; or if it had done so for- 
merly, the reasons had now ceased to operate. She 
saw that the Irish of her race were resolved to build 
their Constitution and their politics upon another 
bottom. With those things under her view, she in- 
stantly complied with the whole of your demands, 



wm 



LEITEB TO SIB HEBCULES LANOBISBE. 



277 



without any reservation whatsoever. She aurren- 
deied that boundless superiority, for the preserva- 
tion of which, and the acquisition, she had supported 
the English colonies in Ireland for ao long a time, 
and at so vast an expense (according to the standard 
of those ages) of her blood and treasure. 

When we bring before us the matter which history 
affords for our selection, it is not improper to exam- 
ine the spirit of the several precedents which are 
candidates for our choice. Might it not be as well 
for your statesmen, on the other side of the water, 
to take an example from this latter and surely more 
f mciliatory re"olution, as a pattern for your con- 
duct towards youi own fellow-citizens, than from that 
of 1688, when a paramount sovereignty over both you 
and them was more loftily claimed and more sternly 
exerted than at any former or at any subsequent pe- 
riod? Great Britain in 1782 rose above the vulgar 
ideas of policy, the ordinary jealousies of state, and 
all the sentiments of national pride and national am- 
bition. If she had been more dispo^^ed (than, I thank 
God for it, she was) to listen to the suggestions of 
passion than to the dictates of prudence, she might 
have urged the principles, the maxims, the ^ , 
the practice of the Revolution, against tlie d i. 
of the leading description in Ireland, with i^ . as 
much plausibility and full as good a grace as any 
amongst them can possibly do against the supplica- 
tions of so vast and extensive a description of their 
own people. 

A good deal, too, if the spirit of domination and 
exclusion had prevailed in England, might have been 
excepted against some of the means then employed 
in Ireland, whilst her claims were in agitation. They 



S78 



UBTTEB TO SIB HEBCULKS LAN0BI8H1. 




frii 





ir<^ie at luasit oa much out of ordinary courso ns 
tliuso which iiro now objucted against admitting your 
people to any of the benefits of au English Constitu- 
tion. Most certainly, neither with you nor here 
was any one ignorant of wliat was at that time suid, 
written, and done. But on all sides we separated tlie 
means from i!io end: and we separated the cause of 
the moderate and ratiottal from the ill-intentioned 
and seditious, which oa such occasions arc so fre- 
quently apt to march together. At that time, on 
your part, you were not afraid to review what wus 
done at the Revolution of 1C88, and what had been 
continued during the subsequent flourishing period 
of the British empire. The change then made was 
a great and fundamental alteration. In the execu- 
tion, it was an operose business on both sides of the 
water. It required the repeal of several laws, the 
modification of many, and a new courso to be given 
to au iufinito number of legislative, judicial, and of- 
ficial practices and usages in both kingdoms. This 
did not frighten any of us. You are now asked to 
give, in some moderate measure, to your fellow-citi- 
zens, what Great Britain gave to you without any 
measure at all. Yet, notwithstanding all the diffi- 
cu' '.3 at the time, and the apprehensions which some 
very well-meaning people entertained, through the 
admirable temper in which this revolution (or resto- 
ration in the uature of a revolution) was conducted 
in both kingdoms, it has hitherto produced no incon- 
Tenience to either ; and I trust, with the continuance 
of the same temper, that it never will. I think that 
this small, inconsiderable change, (relative to an ex- 
clusive statute not made at the Revolution,) for re- 
storing the people to the benefits from which the 



LirrCB TO Sn HKBCUUSS LANOBiaHE. 



279 



green soreness of a civU war had not excluded them, 
wi!l Je productive of no sort of mischief whatsoevtr. 
Compare wliat was done in 1782 with what is wished 
in 1792 ; consider the spirit of what has been^ done 
at the several periods of reformation ; and woig'. ma- 
turely whether it be exactly true that conciliatory 
concessions are of good policy only in discussions be- 
tween nations, but that among descriptions in the 
game nation they must always be irrational and dan- 
gerous. What have you suffered in your peace, your 
prosperity, or, in what ought ever to bo dear to a 
nation, your glory, by the last act by which you 
took the oroperty of that people under the protec- 
tion of the lau'gf What reasons have you to dread 
the consequences of admitting the peoj^io possessing 
that property to Eome share in the protection of the 
Conttitution f 

I do not mean to trouble you with anything to re- 
move the objections, I will not call them arguments, 
against this measure, taken from a ferocious hatred 
to all that numerous description of Chrisnans. It 
would be to pay a poor compliment to your under- 
standing or your heart. Neither your religion nor 
your politics consist " in odd, perverse antipathies." 
You are not resolved to persevere in proscribing from 
the Constitution so many millions of your country- 
men, because, in contradiction to experience and to 
common sense, you think proper to imagine that 
their principles are subversive of common lumau 
society. To that I shall only say, that whoever 
has a temper which can be gratified by indulging 
himself in these go d-natured fancies ought to do a 
great deal more. For an exclusion from the privi- 
leges of British subjects is not a cure for so terrible 








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280 



LETTEB TO BIB HEBCULES LANOBISHE. 



a distemper of the human mind as they are pleased 
to suppose in their countrymen. I rather conceive 
a participation in those privileges to be itself a rem- 
edy for some mental disorders. 

As little shall I detain you with matters that can 
as little obtain admission into a mind like yours: 
such as the fear, or pretence of fear, that, in spite 
of your own power and the trifling power of Great 
Britain, you may be conquered by the Pope ; or that 
this commodious bugbear (who is of infinitely more 
use to those wlio pretend to fear than to those who 
love him) will absolve his Majesty's subjects from 
their allegiance, and send over the Cardinal of York 
to rule you as his viceroy ; or that, by the plenitude 
of his power, he will take that fierce tyrant, the king 
of the French, out of his jail, and arm that nation 
(which on all occasions treats his Holiness so very 
politely) with his bulls and pardons, to invade poor 
old Ireland, to reduce you to Popery and slavery, and 
to force the free-born, naked feet of your people in- 
to the wooden shoes of that arbitrary monarch. I 
do not believe that discourses of this kind are held, 
or that anything like them will be held, by any who 
walk about without a keeper. Yet I confess, that, 
on occasions of this nature, I am the most afraid of 
the weakest reasonings, because they discover the 
strongest passions. These things will never be brouglit 
out in definite propositions. They would not pj-event 
pity towards any persons ; they would only cause it 
for those who were capable of talking in such a 
strain. But I know, and am sure, that such ideas 
as no man will distinctly produce to another, or hard- 
ly venture to bring in any plaui shape to his own 
mind, he will utter in obscure, ill-explained doubts, 



'1. .1 



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LETTEB TO SIB HEBCULE8 LANOBISHE. 



281 



jealousies, surmises, fears, and apprehensions, and 
that in such a fog tliey will appear to have a good 
deal of size, and will make an impression, when, if 
they were clearly brought forth and defined, they 
would meet with nothhig but scorn and derision. 

There is another way of taking an objection to this 
concession, which I admit to be something more plau- 
sible, and worthy of a more attentive examinaciou. 
It is, that this numerous class of people is mutmous, 
disorderly, prone to sedition, and easy to be wrought 
upon by the insidious arts of wicked and designing 
men ; that, conscious of this, the sober, rational, and 
wealthy part of that body, who are totally of another 
character, do by no means dt-sire any participation 
for themselves, or for any one else of their descrip- 
tion, in the franchises of the British Constitution. 

I have great doubt of the exactness of any part 
of this observation. But let us admit that the body 
of the Catholics are prone to sedition, (of which, as I 
have said, I entertain much doubt,) is it possible that 
any fair observer or fair reasoner can think of con- 
fining this description to them only ? 1 believe it to 
be possible for men to be mutinous and seditious who 
feel no grievance, but I believe no man will assert se- 
riously, that, when people are of a turbulent spirit, 
the best way to keep them in order is to furnish them 
with something substantial to complain of. 

You separate, very properly, the sober, rational, 
and substantial part of their description from the 
rest. You give, as you ought to do, weight only to 
the former. What I have always thought of the 
matter is this, — that the most poor, illiterate, and 
uninformed creatures upon earth are judges of a prac- 
tical oppression. It is a matter of feeling; and as 



i 
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282 



LETTEP lO sib HEBCULES LANGBISHE. 



such persons generally hare felt most of it, and aio 
not of an over-lively sensibility, they are the best 
judges of it. But for the real cause, or the appropri- 
ate remedy, they ought never to be called into council 
about the one or the other. They ought to be totally 
shut out: because their reason is weak; because, 
when once roused, their passions are ungoverned; 
because they want information ; because the small- 
ness of the property which individually they possess 
renders them less attentive to the consequence of tlie 
measures they adopt in affairs of ir >ment. Wlien I 
find a great cry amongst the people who speculate 
little, I think myself called seriously to examine into 
it, and to separate the real cause from the ill effects 
of the passion it may excite, and the bad use wliich 
artful men may make of an irritation of the popular 
mind. Here we must be aided by persons of a con- 
trary character ; we must not listen to the desperate 
\j, the furious : but it is therefore necessary for us 
to distinguish who are the realli/ indigent and the 
realli/ intemperate. As to the persons who desire 
this part in the Constitution, I have no reason to 
imagine that they are men wlio have nothing to lose 
and much to look for in public confusion. The pop- 
ular meeting from which apprehensions have been 
entertained has assembled. I have accidentally had 
conversation with two friends of mine who know 
something of the gentleman who was put into the 
chair upon that occasion : one of them has had mon- 
ey transactions with him ; the other, from curiosity, 
has been to see his concerns : they both tell mo he 
is a man of some property : but you must be the best 
judge of this, who by your office are likely to know 
his transactions. Many of the others are certainly per- 



LFTTEB TO SIR HEBCULE9 LANGBISHE. 



283 



sons of fortune ; and all, or most, fathers of families, 
men in respectable ways of life, and some of them 
far from contemptible, either for their information, or 
for the abilities which they have shown in the discus- 
sion of their interests. What such men think it for 
their advantage to acquire ought not, prima facie, to 
be considered as rash or heady or mcompatiblo with 
the public safety or welfare. 

I admit, that men of the best fortunes and reputa- 
tions, and of the best talents and education too, may 
by accident show themselves furious and intemperate 
in their desires. This is a great misfortune, when 
it happens ; for the first presumptions are undoubt- 
edly in their favor. We have two standards of judg- 
ing, in this case, of the sanity and sobriety of any 
proceedings, — of unequal certainty, indeed, but nei- 
ther of them to be neglected : the first is by the val- 
ue of the object sought ; the next is by the means 
through which it is pursued. 

The object pursued by the Catholics is, I under- 
stand, and have all along reasoned as if it were so, in 
some degree or measure to be again admitted to the 
franchises of the Constitution. Men are considered 
as under some derangement of their intellects, when 
they see good and evil in a difierent light from other 

men, when they choose nauseous and unwholesome 

food, and reject such as to the rest of the world 
seems pleasant and is known to be nutritive. I have 
always msidered the British Constitution not to 
be a thiuj, 'n itself so vicious as tliat none but men 
of deranged understanding and turbulent tempers 
could desire a share in it : on the contrary, I should 
thmk very indifiereutly of the understanding and 
temper of any body of men who did not wish to 



'1 



m-.. MlmJi-. .'. 




284 



LETTEB TO 81B HEECULES LANQHISnE. 



I j 



m 



partake of this great and acknowledged benefit. I 
cannot think quite so favorably either of the sense or 
temper of those, if any such there are, who would 
voluntarily persuade their brethren that the object is 
not fit for them, or they for the object. Whatever 
may be my thoughts concerning them, I am quite 
sure that they who hold such language must forfeit 
all credit with the rest. This is infallible, — if they 
conceive any opinion of their judgment, they cannot 
possibly think them their friends. There is, indeed, 
one supposition which would reconcile the conduct 
of such gentlemen to sound reason, and to the pur- 
est affection towards their fellow-sufferers: it is, that 
they act under the impression of a well-grounded fear 
for thtf general interest. If they should be told, and 
should believe the story, that, if they dare attempt 
to make their condition better, they "'U infallibly 
make it worse, — that, if they aim at obtaining liber- 
ty, they will have their slavery doubled, — that their 
endeavor to put themselves upon anjthing which 
approaches towards an equitable footing with their 
fellow-subjects will be considered as an indication of 
a seditious and rebellious disposition, — such a view 
of things ought perfectly to restore the gentlemen, who 
BO anxiously dissuade tbir countrymen from wishing 
a participation with the privileged part of the people, 
to the good opinion of their lellows. Jut what is to 
them a very full justification is not quite so honor- 
able to that power from whose maxims and temper 
so good a ground of rational terror is furnished. I 
think arguments of this kind will never be used by the 
friends of a government which I greatly respect, or 
by any of the leaders of an opposition whom I have 
the honor to know and the sense to admire. I re- 



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LETTEB TO 8IB HERCULES LANORISHE. 



285 



member Polybius tells us, that, during his captivity 
in Italy as a Peloponnesian hostage, he solicited old 
Cato to intercede with the Senate for his release, and 
that of his countrymen : this old politician told him 
that he had better continue in his present condition, 
however irksome, than apply again to that formidable 
authority for their relief; that he ought to imitate 
the wisdom of his countryman Ulysses, who, when 
he was once out of the den of the Cyclops, had too 
mich sense to venture again into the same cavern. 
But I conceive too high an opinion of the Irish legis- 
lature to think that they are to their fellow-citizens 
what the grand oppressors of mankind were to :■ peo- 
ple whom the fortune of war had subjected t ir 
power. For though Cato could u' ^ such a el 

with regard to his Senate, I should really tli. - it 
nothing short of impious to compare an Irish Parlia- 
ment to a den of Cyclops. I hope the people, both 
here and with you, will always apply to the House 
of Commons with becoming modesty, but at the 
same time with minds unembarrassed with any sort 
of terror. 

As to the means which the Catholics employ to 
obtain this object, so worthy of sober and rational 
minds, I do -• '*■ that such means may be used 
in the pursu t as may malce it proper for the 

legislature, in case, to defci ■ icir compliance un- 
til the demandants are brought to a propei sense 
of their duty. A concession in which the govern- 
ing power of our country loses its dignity is dearly 
bought even by him wlio obtains his object. All 
the people have a deep interest in the dignity of 
Parliament. But as the refusal of franchises which 
are drawn out of the first vital stamina of the British 



I 



286 



LETTGB TO SIR HERCTTLES LANORISHE. 



t 1 



Constitution is a very serious thing, we ought to be 
very sure that the manner and spirit of the applica- 
tion is offensive and dangerous indeed, before we ul- 
timately reject all applications of this nature. Tlie 
mode of application, I hear, is by petition. It is 
the manner in which all the sovereign powers of the 
world are approached ; and I never heard (except in 
the case of James the Second) that any prince con- 
sidered this manner of supplication to be contrary to 
the humility of a subject or to the respect due to the 
person or authority of the sovereign. This rule, and 
a correspondent practice, are observed from tlie Grand 
Seignior down to the most petty prince or republic 
iu Europe. 

You have sent me several papers, some in print, 
some in manuscript. I think I had seen all of them, 
except the formula of association. I confess they ap- 
pear to me to contain matter mischievous, and capor 
ble of giving alarm, if the spirit in which they are 
written should bo found to make any considerable 
progress. But I am at a loss to know how to apply 
them as objections to the case now before us. Wlien 
I find that the General Committee which acts for the 
Roman Catholics in Dublin prefers the association 
proposed in the written draught you have sent me to 
a respectful application in Parliament, I shall think 
the persons who sign sucli a paper to be unworthy 
of any privilege which may be thought fit to be 
granted, and that such men ought, bi/ name, to be 
excepted from any benefit under the Constitution to 
which theyjaffer this violence. But I do not find that 
this form of a seditious league has been signed by 
any person whatsoever, either on the part of the sup- 
posed projectors, or on the part of those whom it is 



} i 



LETTEB TO am HEBCULES LANQBISHE. 



287 



calculated to seduce. I do not find, on inquiry, that 
such a thing was mentioned, or even remotely allud- 
ed to, in the general meeting of the Catholics from 
which so much violence was apprehended. I have 
considered the other publications, signed by individ- 
uals on the part of certain societies, — I may mistake, 
for I have not the honor of knowing them personally, 
but I take Mr. Butler and Mr. Tandy not to be Cath- 
olics, but members of the Established Churcli. Not 
one that I recollect of these publications, which you 
and I equally dislike, appears to be written by per- 
sons of that persuasion. Now, if, whilst a man is du- 
tifully soliciting a favor from Parliament, any person 
should choose in an improper manner to show his 
inclination towards the cause depending, and if that 
mM8« destroy the cause of the petitioner, then, not 
only the petitioner, but the legislature itself, is in 
the power of any weak friend or artful enemy that 
the supplicant or that the Parliament may have. 
A man must be judged by his own actions only. 
Certain Protestant Dissenters make seditious propo- 
sitions to the Catholics, which it does not appear that 
they have yet accepted. It would be strange that the 
tempter should escape all punishment, and that he 
who, under circumstances full of seduction and full 
of provocation, has resisted the temptation should 
incur the penalty. You know, that, with regard 
to the Dissenters, who are stated to be the chief 
movers in this vile scheme of altering the princi- 
ples of election to a right of voting by the head, 
you are not able (if you ought even to wish such 
a thing) to deprive them of any part of the franchises 
and privileges which they hold on a footing of per- 
fect equality witli yourselves. They may do what 



i 



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1 1 



Mi 



288 



LETTEB TO BIB HERCULES LANOBISHE. 



they please with constitutional impunity; but the 
others cannot even listen with civility to an invita- 
tion from them to an ill-judged scheme of liberty, 
without forfeiting forever all hopes of any of those 
liberties which we admit to be sober and rational. 
It is known, I believe, that the greater as well as 
the sounder part of our excluded countrymen have 
not adopted the wild ideas and wilder engagements 
which have been held out to them, but have rather 
chosen to hope small and safe concessions from the 
legal power than boundless objects from trouble and 
confusion. This mode of action seems to me to mark 
men of sobriety, and to distinguish them from those 
who are intemperate, from circumstance or from na- 
ture. But why do they not instantly disclaim and 
disavow those who make such advances to them? 
In this, too, in my opinion, they show themselves 
no less sober and circumspect. In the present mo- 
ment nothing short of insanity could induce them 
to take such a step. Pray consider the circumstan- 
ces. Disclaim, says somebody, all union with the 
Dissenters; — right, — But when this your injunc- 
tion is obeyed, shall I obtain the object which I solicit 
from you? — Oh, no, nothing at all like it! — But, 
in punishing us, by an exclusion from the Constitu- 
tion through the great gate, for having been invited 
to enter into it by a postern, will you punish by dep- 
rivation of their privileges, or mulct in any other 
way, those wi>o have tempted us? — Par from it; — 
we mean to preserve all their liberties and immuni- 
ties, as our life-blood. We mean to cultivate them, as 
brethren whom we love and respect; — with yow-wo 
have no fellowship. We can bear with patience 
their enmity to ourselves ; but their friendship with 



LETTER TO SIB HEBCDLES LANOBISHE. 



289 



you wo will not endure. But mark it well ! All our 
quarrels with them are always to be revenged upon 
you. Formerly, it is notorious that we should have 
resented with the highest indignation your presum- 
ing to show any ill-will to them. You must not suf- 
fer them, now, tr .how any good-will to you. Know 
— and take it once for all — that it is, and ever has 
been, and ever will bo, a fundamental maxim in our 
politics, that you are not to have any part or shad- 
ow or name of interest whatever in our state ; that 
we look upon you as under an irreversible outlawry 
from onr Constitution, — as perpetual and unalliable 
aliens. 

Such, my dear Sir, is the plain nature of the argu- 
ment drawn from the Revolution maxims, enforced 
by a supposed disposition in the Catholics to unite 
with the Dissenters. Such it is, though it were 
clothed in never such bland and civil forms, and 
wrapped up, as a poet says, in a thousand " artful 
folds of sacred lawn." For my own part, I do not 
know in what manner to shape such arguments, so 
as to obtain admission for them into a rational un- 
derstanding. Everything of this kind is to bo re- 
duced at last to threats of power. I cannot say. Fob 
victis! and t)iou throw the sword into the scale. I 
have no sword ; and if I had, in this case, most cer- 
tainly, I would not use it as a makeweight in political 
reasoning. 

Observe, on these principles, the difference between 
the procedure of the Parliament and tho Dissenters 
towards the people in question. One employs court- 
ship, the other force. The Dissenters offer bribes, 
the Parliament nothing but the front nSgatif of a 
stern and forbidding authority. A man may be very 



n 



VOL. IV. 



19 




■^ 






i90 



LCTTEB rO SIB HERCULES LANOWSHE. 



wrong in his ideas of what is good for hira. But no 
man affronts mo, nor can therefore justify my affront- 
ing him, by oflforing to make me as happy as himself, 
according to his own ideas of happiness. Tins the 
Dissenters do to the Catholics. You are on the dif 
ferent extremes. The Dissenters offer, with regard 
to constitutional rights and civil advantages of all 
sorts, everything/; you refuse everything. With them, 
there is boundless, though not very assured hope; 
with you, a very sure and very unqualified despair. 
The terms of alliance from the Dissenters offer a rep- 
resentation of the commons, chosen out of the people 
by the head. This is absurdly and dangerously large, 
in my opinion ; and that scheme of election is known 
to have been at all times perfectly odious to me. But 
I cannot think it right of course to punish the Irish 
Roman Catholics by an universal exclusion, because 
others, whom you would not punish at all, propose 
an universal admission. I cannot dissemble to my- 
self, that, in this very kingdom, many persons who 
are not in the situation of the Irish Catholics, but 
who, on the contrary, enjoy the full benefit o" the 
Constitution as it stands, and some of whom, from 
the effect of their fortunes, enjoy it in a large meas- 
ure, had some years ago associated to procure great 
and undefined changes (they considered them as re- 
forms) in the popular part of the Constitution. Our 
friend, the late Mr. Flood, (no slight man,) proposed 
in his place, and in my hearing, a representation not 
much less extensive than this, for England, — in 
which every house was to be inhabited by a voter, in 
addition to all the actual votes by other titles (some 
of the corporate) which we know do not require a 
house or a shed. Can I forget that a person of the 



ti 



LETTER TO SIB HEBCT7LGS LANGPJ3HE. 



291 



very highest rank, of very large fortune, and of the 
first class of ability, brought a bill into the House of 
Lords, in the head-quarters of aristocracy, containing 
identically the same project for the supposed adop- 
tion of which by a club or two it is thought right to 
extinguish all hopes in the Roman Catholics of Ire- 
land ? I cannot say it was very eagerly embraced or 
very warmly pursued. But the Lords neither did 
disavow the bill, nor treat it with any disregard, nor 
express any sort of disapprobation of its noble au 
thor, who has never lost, with king or people, the 
least degree of the respect and consideration i»liich 
so justly belongs to him. 

I am not at all enamored, as I have told you, with 
this plan of representation ; as little do I relish any 
bandings or associations for procuring it. But if the 
question was to be put to you and me, — Universal 
popular repr>sentation, or none at all for tw and ours, 
— we should find ourselves in a very awkward posi- 
tion. I do not like this kind of dilemmas, especially 
when they are practical. 

Then, since our oldest fundamental laws follow, or 
rather couple, freehold with franchise, — since no prin- 
ciple of the Revolution shakes these liberties, — since 
the oldest and one of the best monuments of the Con- 
stitution demands for the Irish the privilege which 
they supplicate,- jjuce the principles of the Revolu- 
tion coincide with the declarations of the Great Char- 
ter, — since the practice of the Revolution, in this 
point, did not contradict its principles, — since, from 
that event, twenty-five years had elapsed, before a 
domineering party, on a party principle, had ventured 
to disfranchise, without any proof whatsoever of abuse, 
the greater part oi the community, — since the king's 



,1 



BESWBPSfWl 





I- 1 



I 



292 



LBTTER TO 81B HHlCUtE8 LANOBISHB. 



coronation oath does not stand in his way to the per- 
formance of his duty to all his subjects, — since you 
have given to all other Dissenters these privileges 
without limit which are hitherto withheld without 
any limitation whatsoever from the Catholics, — since 
no nation in the world has ever been known to ex- 
clude so great a body of men (not born slaves) from 
the civil state, and all the benefits of i^s C'-. titution, 

the whole question comes before Parliament as a 

matter for its prudence. I do not put the thing on a 
question of right. Tliat discretion, which in judica- 
ture is well said by Lord Coke to be a crooked cord, 
in legislature is a golden nile. Supplicants ought 
not to appear too much in the character of litigants. 
" the subject thinks so highly and reverently of the 
^reign authority as not to claim anything of right, 
so that it may seem to be independent of the power 
and free choice of its government, — and if the sover- 
eign, on his part, considers the advantages of the sub- 
jects as their right, and all their reasonable wishes 
as so many claims, — in the fortunate conjunction of 
these mutual dispositions are laid the foundations of a 
happy and prosperous commonwealth. For my own 
part, desiring of all things that the authority of t'lo 
legislature under which I was born, and which I cher- 
ish, not only with a dutiful awe, but with a partial 
and cordial affection, to be maintained in the utmost 
possible respect, I never will suffer myself to suppose 
that at bottom their discretion will be found to be 
at variance with their justice. 

The whole being at discretion, I beg leave just 
to suggest some matters for your consideration : — 
Whether the government in Church or State is likely 
to be more secure by continuing causes of gromided 



LRTEB TO SIB HEBCT7LX8 LANl.ISHE. 



298 



discontent to a very great number (say two millions) 
of the subjects ? or wliether the Constitution, com- 
lined and balanced as it is, will \w rendered more 
solid by depriving so large a part of the people of all 
concern or interest or share in its representation, 
actual or virtual t I here mean to lay an emphasis 
on the word virtual Virtual representation is that 
in which there is a communion of interests and a 
sympathy in feelings and desires betv^oen those who 
act in the name of any description oi peopie and the 
people in whose name thay act, though the trustees 
are not actually chosen by them. This is virtual rep- 
resentation. Such a representation I think to bo in 
many >:ase8 even better than the actual. It possess- 
es most of its advantages, and is free from many of 
its inconveniences ; it corrects the irregularities in 
the literal representation, when the shifting current 
of human affairs ur the acting of public interests in 
diflFerent ways carry it obliquely from its first line of 
direction. The people may err in their choice ; but 
common interest and common sentiment are rarely 
mistaken. But this sort of virtual representation 
cannot have a long or sure existence, if it has not a 
substratum in the actual. The member must have 
some relation to the constituent. As things stand, 
the Catholic, as a Catholic, and belonging to a de- 
scription, has no virtual relation to the representa- 
tive, — but the contrary. There is a relation in mutu- 
al obligation. Gratitude may not always have a very 
lasting power ; but the frequent recurrence of an ap- 
plication for favors will revive and refresh it, and will 
necessarily produce somi degree of mutual attention. 
It will produce, at least, acquaintance. The several 
descriptions of jteople will not be kept so mudi apart 



li *l 



294 



LETTKB TO SIB HEBCULES LAN0BI8HB. 





It 



as they now are, as if they were not only separate 
nations, but separate species. The stigma and re- 
proach, the hideous mask will be taken off, and men 
will see each other as they are. Sure I am that 
there have been thousands in Ireland who have never 
conversed with a Roman Catholic in their whole lives, 
unless they happened to talk to their gardener's work- 
men, or to ask their way, when they had lost it in 
their sports, — or, at best, who had known them only 
as footmen, or other domestics, of the second and 
third order : and so averse were they, some time ago, 
to have them near their persons, that they would not 
employ even those who could never find their way 
beyond the stable. I well remember a great, and in 
many respects a good man, who advertised for a 
blacksmith, but at the same time added, he must 
be a Protestant. It is impossible that such a state 
of things, though natural goodness in many persons 
will undoubtedly make exceptions, must not produce 
alienation on the one side and pride and insolence 
on the other. 

Reduced to a question of discretion, and that dis- 
cretion exercised solely upon what will appear best 
for the conservation of the state on its present basis, 
I should recommend it to your serious thoughts, 
whether the narrowing of the foundation is always 
the best way to secure the building ? The body of 
disfranchised men will not be perfectly satisfied to 
remain always in that state. If they are not satis- 
fied, you have two millions of subjects in your bosom 
full of uneasiness : not that they cannot overturn tlie 
Act of Settlement, and put themselves and you under 
an arbitrary master ; or that they are not permitted 
to spawn a hydra of wild republics, on principles of a 



■ii 



1:^' 



LETTEB TO SIB HERCULEa LANGBISHE. 



295 



pretended natural equality in man ; but because you 
will not suffer them to enjoy the ancient, fundamen- 
tal, tried advantages of a British Constitution, — that 
you will not permit them to profit of the protection 
of a common father or the freedom of common citi- 
zens, and that the only reason which can be assigned 
for this disfranchisement has a tendency moro deeply 
to ulcerate their minds than the act of exclusion it- 
self. What the consequence of such feelings must 
be it is for you to look to. To warn is not to 
menace. 

I am far from asserting that men will not excite 
disturbances without just cause. I know that such 
an assertion is not true. But neither is it true that 
disturbances have never just complaints for their ori- 
gin. I am sure that it is hardly prudent to furnish 
them with such causes of complaint as every man 
who thinks the British Constitution a benefit may 
think at least colorable and plausible. 

Several are in dread of the manoeuvres of certain 
persons among the Dissenters, who turn this ill hu- 
mor to their own ill purposes. You know, better 
than I can, how much these proceedings of certain 
among the Dissenters are to be feared. You are to 
weigh, with the temper which is natural to you, 
wliether it may be for the safety of our establish- 
ment that the Catholics should be ultimately persuad- 
ed that they have no hope to enter into the Constitu- 
tion but through the Dissenters. 

Think whether this be the way to prevent or dis- 
solve factious combinations against the Church or 
the State. Reflect seriously on the possible conse- 
quences of keeping in the heart of your country a 
bank of discontent, every hour accumulating, upon 



296 



LETTER TO SIB HERCULES LAN0BI8HE. 




i 



•which every description of seditious men may draw 
at pleasure. They whose principles of faction will 
dispose them to the establishment of an arbitrary 
monarchy will find a nation of men wlio have no 
sort of •* iterest in freedom, but who will have an 
interest i i that equality of justice or favor with 
which r ' 'se despot must view all his subjects who 
do not ai-.. ck the foundations of his power. Love of 
liberty itself may, in such men, become the means of 
establishing an arbitrary domination. On the other 
hand, they who wish for a democratic republic will 
find a set of men who have no choice between civil 
servitude and the entire ruin of a mixed Constitu- 
tion. 

Suppose the people of Ireland divided into three 
parts. Of these, (I speak within compass,) two are 
Catholic ; of the remaining third, one half is com- 
posed of Dissenters. There is no natural union be- 
tween those descriptions. It may be produced. If 
the two parts Catholic be driven into a close confed- 
eracy with half the third part of Protestants, witli a 
view to a change in the Constitution in Cliurch or 
State or both, and you rest the whole of their t^e- 
curity on a handful of gentlemen, clergy, and their 
dependents, — compute the strength you have in Irer 
land, to oppose to grounded discontent, to capricious 
innovation, to blind popular fury, and to ambitious, 
turbulent intrigue. 

You mention that the minds of some gentlemen 
are a good deal heated, and that it is often said, 
that, rather than submit to such persons, having a 
share in their franchises, they would throw up tlieir 
independence, and precipitate an union with Great 
Britain. I have heard a discussion concerning sucb 






LETTKB TO SIB HEBCULE3 LAN6BISHE. 



297 



au luiion amongst all sorts of men ever since I re- 
member anything. For my own part, I have never 
been able to bring my mind to anything clear and 
decisive upon the subject. Tliere cannot be a more 
arduous question. As far as I can form an opinion, 
it would not bo for the mutual advantage of the two 
kingdoms. Persons, however, more able than I am 
think otherwise. Bu*^ -i.atever the merits of this 
union may be, to ma nenace, it must be shown 

to be an evil, and an - lore particularly to those 
who are threatened witii it than to thobo who hold it 
out as a terror. I really do not see how this tlireat of 
an union can operate, or that the Catholics arc more 
likely to be losers by that measure than the church- 
men. 

The humors of the people, and of politicians too, 
are so variable in themselves, and are so much under 
the occasional influence of some leading men, that it 
is impossible to know what turn the public mind here 
would take on such an event. There is but one thing 
certain concerning it. Great divisions and veliemeut 
pasiiions would precede this imiou, both on tlie meas- 
ure itself and on its terms ; and particularly, this very 
question of a share hi the representation for the Cath- 
olics, from whence the project of an union originated, 
would form a principal part iu the discussion ; and 
in the temper in which some gentlemen seem inclined 
to throw themselves, by a soru of high, indignant pas- 
sion, into the scheme, those points would not be 
deliberated with all possible calmness. 

From my best observation, I should greatly doubt, 
wliether, in the end, these gentlemen would obtain 
their object, so as to :• lake the exclusion of two mil- 
lions of their countrymen a fundamental article in 




298 



LETTER TO SIB HEBCULES LANOBISHE. 



I 

I 
1 

11 



the union. The demand would be of a nature quite 
luiprecedented. You might obtain the union ; and 
yet a gentleman, who, undo- the new union establish- 
ment, would aspire to the honor of representing his 
county, might possibly be as much obliged, as he 
may fear to be under the old separate establishment, 
to the unsupportable mortification of asking his neigh- 
bors, who have a different opinion concerning the ele- 
ments in the sacrament, for their votes. 

I believe, nay, I am sure, that the people of Great 
Britain, with or without an union ^ might be depended 
upon, in cases of any real danger, to aid the govern- 
ment of Ireland, with the same cordiality as the/ 
would support their own, against any wicked at 
tempts to shake the security of the happy Constitu- 
tion in Church and State. But before Great Britain 
engages in any quarrel, the eau8e of the dispute would 
certainly be a part of her consideration. If confusions 
should arise 'n that kingdom from too steady an at- 
tachment to a prescriptive, monopolizing system, and 
from the resolution of regarding the franchise, and 
in it the security of the subject, as belonging rather 
to religious opinions than to civil qualification and 
civil conduct, I doubt whether you might quite cer- 
tainly reckon on obtaining an aid of force from hence 
for the support of that system. We might extend 
your distractions to this country by taking part in 
them. England will be indisposed, I suspecf, to 
send an army for the conquest of Ireland. What 
was done in 1782 is a decisive proof of her senti- 
ments of justice and moderation. She will not be 
fond of making another American war in Ireland. 
The principles of such a war would but too much 
resemble the former one. The well-disposed and 



* 



LEITEB TO SIB HEBCULES LAN6BISHE. 



299 



the ill-disposed in England would (for different rea- 
Bons perhaps) be equally averse to such an eater- 
prise. Tlie confiscations, the public auctions, th(» 
private grants, the plantations, tlie transplantations, 
which formerly animated so many adventurers, even 
among sober citizens, to such Irish expeditions, and 
which possibly might have animated some of them to 
the American, can have no existence in the case that 
we suppose. 

Let us form a supposition, (no foolish or unground- 
ed supposition,) that, in an age when men are infi- 
nitely more disposed to heat themselves with political 
than religious controversies, the former should en- 
tirely prevail, as we see that in some places they 
have prevailed, over the latter, — and that the Cath- 
olics of Ireland, from the courtship paid them on the 
one hand, and the high tone of refusal on the other, 
should, in order to enter into all the rights of sub- 
jects, all become Protestant Dissenters, and, as the 
others do, take all your oaths. They wouM all ob- 
tain their civil objects ; and the change, for anything 
I know to the contrary, ( in the dark as I am about 
the Protestant Dissenting tenets,) might be of use 
to tlic health of their souls. i3ut what security our 
Constitution, in Churcli or State, could derive from 
that event, I cannot possibly discern. Depend upon 
it, it is as true as Nature is true, that, if you force 
them out of the reli[ri<>n of habit, education, or opm- 
iou, it is not to yours they will ever go. Shaken in 
their minds, they will go to that where the dogmas 
are fewest, — where they are the most uncertain, — 
where they lead them the least to a consideration 
of what they have abandoned. Tliey will go to that 
uniformly democratic system to whose first move- 






IiiM'IBtIi 



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800 



LETTEB TO BIB HEBCULES LANOBISHE. 






ments they owed their emancipation. I recommend 
you seriously to turn this in your mind. Believe 
that it requires your best and maturest thouglits. 
Take what course you please, — union or no union; 
whether the people remain Catholics or become Prot- 
estant Dissenters, sure it is that the present state of 
monopoly cannot continue. 

If England were animated, as I think she is not, 
with her former spirit of domination, and with the 
strong theological hatred which she once cherished 
for that description of her fellow-Christians and fel- 
low-subjects, I am yet convinced, that, after the full- 
est success in a ruinous struggle, you would be 
obliged to abandon that monopoly. We were obliged 
to do this, oven when everything promised success, 
in the American business. If you should make this 
experiment at last, under the pressure of any neces- 
sity, you never can do it well. But if, instead of 
falling into a passion, the leading gentlemen of the 
country themselves should undertake the business 
cheerfully, and with hearty affection towards it, 
great advantages would follow. What is forced 
cannot be modified: but here you may measure 
your concessions. 

It is a consideration of great moment, that you 
make the desired admission without altering the sys- 
tem of your representation in the smallest degree or 
in any part. You may leave that deliberation of a 
Parliamentary change or reform, if ever you should 
think fit to engage in it, uncomplicated and unem- 
barrassed with the other question. Wliereas, if they 
are mixed and confounded, as some people attempt 
to mix and confound them, no one can answer for the 
effects on the Constitution itself. 



liri 



LETTEB TO SIR HERCULES LANGRISHE. 



301 



lliere is another advantage in taking up this busi- 
ness singly and by an arrangement for the single ob- 
ject. It is that you may proceed by degrees.^ We 
must all obey the great law of change. It is the 
most powerful law of Nature, and the means per- 
haps of its conservation. All we can do, and that 
human wisdom can do, is to provide that the change 
shall proceed by insensible degrees. This has all the 
benefits which may be in change, without any of the 
inconveniences of mutation. Everything is provided 
for as it arrives. This mode will, on the one hand, 
prevent the unfixing old interests at once: a thing 
which is apt to breed a black and siiUen discontent 
in those who are at once dispossessed of all their in- 
fluence and consideration. This gradual course, on 
the other side, will prevent men long under depres- 
sion from being intoxicated with a large draught of 
new power, which they always abuse with a licentious 
insolence. But, vnshing, as I do, the change to be 
gradual and cautious, I would, in my first steps, loan 
rather to the side of enlargement than restriction. 

It is one excellence of our Constitution, that all 
our rights of provincial election regard rather prop- 
ertj than person. It is another, that the riglus which 
approach more nearly to the personal are most of 
them corporate, and suppose a restrained and strict 
educatio,> of seven years in some useful occupation. 
In both cases the practice may have slid from the 
principle. The standard of qualification in both cases 
may be so low, or not so judiciously chosen, as in 
some degree to frustrate the end. But all this is 
for your prudence in the case before you. You 
may rise a stop or two the qualification of the Cath- 
olic voters. But if you were to-morrow to put the 



4 




*■'-! 




802 



LGTTEB TO SIB HERCULES LANGBISHE. 



Catholic freeholder on the footing of the most fa- 
vored forty-shilling Protestant Dissenter, you know, 
that, such is the actual state of Ireland, this would 
not make a sensible alteration in almost any one elec- 
tion in the kingdom. The eflFect in their favor, even 
defensively, would be infinitely slow. But it would 
be healing ; it would be satisfactory and protecting. 
The stigma would be removed. By admitting settled, 
permanent substance in lieu of the numbers, you 
would avoid the great danger of our time, thai of 
setting up number against property. The numbers 
ought never to be neglected, because ( besides what 
is due to them as men) collectively, though not indi- 
vidually, they have great property: they ought to 
have, therefore, protection ; they ought to have secu- 
rity ; they ought to have even ccisideration : but they 
ought not to predominate. 

My dear Sir, I have nearly done. I meant to write 
you a long letter: I have written a long dissertation. 
I might have done it earlier and better. I might 
have been more forcible and more clear, if I had not 
been interrupted as I have been ; and this obliges 
me not to write to you in my own hand. Though 
my hand but signs it, my heart goes witli what I 
have written. Since I could think at all, those have 
been my thoughts. You know that thirty-two years 
ago they were as fully matured in my mind as they 
are now. A letter of mine to Lord Kenmare, though 
not b^ \j desire, and full of lesser mistakes, has 
been printed in Dublin. It was written ten or twelve 
years ago, at the time when I began the employment, 
which I have not yet finished, in favor of another 
distressed people, injured by those who have van- 
quished them, or stolen a dominion over them. It 



LETTEB TO BIB HEBCtlLES LAN0W8HB. 



808 



contained my sentiments then : you will see how far 
they accord with my sentiments now. Time has more 
and more confirmed me in them all. Tlie present 
circumstances fix them deeper in my mind. 

I voted last session, if a particular vote could be 
distinguished in unanimity, for an establishment of 
the Church of England conjointly with the establish- 
ment, which was made some years before by act of 
Parliament, of the Roman Catholic, in the French con- 
quered country of Canada. At the time of making 
this English ecclesiastical establishment, we did not 
think it necessary for its safety to destroy the for- 
mer Gallican Church se lement. In our first act we 
settled a government altogether monarchical, or near- 
ly so. In that system, the Canadian Catholics were 
far from being deprived of the advantages or distinc- 
tions, of any kind, which they enjoyed under their 
former monarchy. It is true that some people, and 
amongst them one eminent divine, predicted at that 
time that by this step we should lose our dominions 
in America. He foretold that the Pope would send 
his indulgences hither; that the Canadians would 
fall in with France, would declare independence, and 
draw or force our colonies into the same design. 
The independence happened according to his predic- 
tion ; but in directly the reverse order. All our Eng- 
hsh Protestant colonies revolted. They joined them- 
selves to France; and it so happened that Popish 
Canada was the only place which preserved its fidel- 
ity, the only place in which France got no footing, 
the only peopled colony which now remains to Great 
Britain. Vain are all the prognostics taken from 
ideas and passions, which survive the state of things 
which gave rise to them. When last year we gave 



804 



LETTER TO SIB HERCULES LANQRI8HE. 



I 



I # *i 



a popular representation to the same Canada by the 
choice of the landholders, and an aristocratic rcj)- 
resentation at the choice of the crown, neither was 
the c'loice of the crown nor the election of the land- 
h(>ldi limited by a consideration of religion. We 
had no dread for the Protestant Church which wo 
settled there, because wo permitted the French Catho- 
lics, in the utmost latitude of the description, to bo 
free subjects. They are good subjects, I have no 
doubt ; but I will not allow that any French Canadian 
Catholics arc better men or better citizens than the 
Irish of the same communion. Passing from the ex- 
tremity of the "West to the extremity almost of tlie 
East, I have been many years (now entering into 
the twelfth) employed in supporting tlie rights, privi- 
leges, laws, and immunities of a very remote people. 
I have not as yet been able to finish my task. I have 
struggled through much discouragement and much 
opposition, much obloquy, much calumny, for a peo- 
ple with whom I have no tie but the common bond 
of mankind. In this I have not been left alone. Wo 
did not fly from our undertaking because the people 
are Mahometans or Pagans, and that a great majority 
of the Christians amongst them are Papists. Some 
gentlemen in Ireland, I dare say, have good reasons 
for what they may do, which do not occur to me. 
I do not presume to condemn them ; but, thinking 
and acting as I have done towards these remote na- 
tions, I should not know how to show my face, here 
or in Ireland, if I should say that all the Pagans, all 
the Mussulmen, and even all the Papists, (since they 
must form the highest stage in the climax of evil,) 
are worthy of a liberal and honorable condition, ex- 
cept those of one of the descriptions, which forms 



LETTEB TO SIB HERCULES LANGRISHE. 



305 



the majority of the inhabitants of tho country in 
which you and 1 woro born. If such are tlio Catho 
Ucs of Ireland, ill-natured and unjust people, from 
our own data, may be inclined not to think better 
of the Protestants of a soil which is supposed to 
infuse into its sects a kind of venom unknown in 
other places. 

You hated tho old system as early as I did. Your 
first juvenile lance was broken against that giant. I 
think you were even the first who attacked the grim 
phantom. You have an exceedingly good under- 
standing, very good humor, and the best beart in the 
world. The dictates of that temper and that ''cart, as 
well as the policy pointed out by that understanding, 
led you to abhor tho old code. You abhorred it, as I 
did, for its vicious perfection. For I mujit do it jus- 
tice : it was a complete system, full of coherence and 
consistency, well digested and well composed in all 
its parts. It was a machine of wise and elaborate 
contrivance, and as well uUcd for the oppression, 
impoverishment, and degradation of a people, and 
the debasement, in them, of human nature itself, as 
ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man. 
It is a thing humiliating enough, that we are doul)t- 
ful of the effect of the medicines we compound, — we 
are sure of our poisons. My opinion ever was, (in 
which I heartily agree with those that admired the 
old code,) that it was so constructed, that, if there 
was once a breach in any essential part of it, the 
ruin of the whole, or nearly of the whole, was, at 
some time or other, a certainty. For that reason I 
honor and shall forever honor and love you, and 
those who first caused it to stagger, cia( , and gape. 
Others may fiinAx; the beginners h;'.ve tlic glory; 

VOL. IT. SO 





w 



806 



LETTEn TO BIB HERCULES LAN0BI8HE. 



and, take what part you please at this hour, (1 think 
you will take the best,) your first services will never 
be forgotten by a grateful country. Adieu ! Present 
my best regards to those I know, — and as many as I 
know in our country I honor. There never was so 
much ability, nor, I believe, virtue in it. They have 
a task worthy of both. I doubt not th^y will perform 
it, for the stability of the Church and State, and for 
the union and the separation of the people : for the 
union of the honest and peaceable of all sects ; for 
their separation from all that is ill-intentioned and 
seditious in any of them. 

BBAOOitFiBLD, January 3, 1792. 



■-.i^ 




HINTS FOR A MEMORIAL 



TO Bl DEUVRRKD TO 



MONSIEUR DE M. M. 



WBtTTEN DJ TUX KABLV PART OP 1701 




i I 







V.;i|| 






k:A 



i J5 



H 

h 



HINTS FOR A MEMORIAL. 



THE King, my master, from his sincere desire of 
keeping up a good correspondence with his Most 
Christian Majesty and the French nation, has for some 
time beheld with concern the condition into which 
that sovereign and nation have fallen. 

Notwithstanding the reality and the warmth of 
those sentiments, his Britannic Majesty has hitherto 
forborne m any manner to take part in their affairs, 
in hopes that the common interest of king and sub- 
jects would render aU parties sensible of the neces- 
sity of settling their government and their freedom 
upon principles of moderation, as the only means of 
securing permanence to both the^e blessings, as well 
as internal and external tranquillity to the kmgdom 
of France, and to all Europe. 

His Britannic Majesty finds, to his great regret, 
that his hopes have not been realized. He finds that 
confusions and disorders have rather increased than 
diminished, and that they now threaten to proceed to 
dangerous extremities. 

In this situation of things, the same regard to a 
neighboring sovereign living in friendship with Great 
Britain, the same spirit of good-will to the kingdom 
of France, the same regard to the general tranquil- 
lity, which have caused him to view with concern 
the growth and continuance of the present disorders, 
have induced the King of Great Britain to interpose 



•fl 




t p- 



-i: 



J 



310 



HINTS FOB A MEMOBIAL. 



i^JlBW 



his good offices towards a reconcilement of those un- 
happy differences. This his Majesty does with the 
most cordial regard to the good of all descriptions 
concerned, and with the most perfect sincerity, wholly 
removing from his royal mind all memory of every 
circumstance which might impede him in the execu- 
tion of a pl<iu of benevolence which he has so much 
at heart. 

His Majesty, having always thought it his greatest 
glory that he rules over a people perfectly and sol- 
idly, because soberly, rationally, and legally free, can 
never be supposed to proceed in offering thus his 
royal mediation, but with an unaffected desire and 
full resolution to consider the settlement of a free 
constitution in France as the very basis of any agree- 
ment between the sovereign and tliose of his subjects 
who are unhappily at variance with him, — to guar- 
anty it to them, if it shoiild be desired, in the most 
solemn and authentic manner, and to do all that in 
him lies to procure the like guaranty from other 
powers. 

His Britannic Majesty, in the same manner, as- 
sures the Most Christian Kmg that he knows too well 
and values too highly what is due to the dignity and 
rights of crowned heads, and to the implied faith of 
treaties which have always been made with the crown 
of France, ever to listen to any proposition by which 
that monarchy shall be despoiled of all its rights, so 
essential for the support of the consideration of the 
prince and the concord and welfare of the people. 

If, unfortunately, a due attention should not be 
paid to these his Majesty's benevolent and neighborly 
offers, or if any circumstances should prevent the 
Most Christian King from acceding (as his Majesty 



HINTS FOB A MEMORIAL. 



811 



has no doubt he is well disposed to do) to this heal- 
ing mediation in favor of himself and all his subjects, 
his Majesty has commanded me to take leave of this 
court, as not conceiving it io be suitable to the dig- 
nity of his crown, and to what he owes to his feithful 
people, any longer to keep a public mmister at the 
court of a sovereign who is not in possession of his 
own liberty. 



I*-; 



+' ! 



f 



lili'f'' 



1 i it 

■ 


f 






4 




THOUGUTS 



FRENCH AFFAIRS 



ETC., ETC. 



WSrtTKN IN DXCKMBO, 179L 



^1 










I 



j .i 



THOUGHTS ON IKENCH AFFAIES. 



IN all our transactions with France, and at all pe- 
riods, we have treated with that state on the foot* 
ing of a monarchy. Monarchy was considered in all 
the external relations of that kingdom with every 
power in Europe as its legal and constitutional gov- 
ernment, and that in which alone its federal capacity 
was vested. 

It is not yet a year since Monsieur de Montmoiio'i 
Montmorin formally, and with as little re- 
spect as can be imagined to the king, and to all 
crowned heads, annotmced a total Bevoiution in that 
country. He has informed the British ministry that 
its frame of government is wholly altered, — that he 
is one of the ministers of the new system, — and, in 
effect, that the king is no longer his master, (nor 
does he even call him such,) but the '■'■fint of the 
ministers" in the new system. 

The second notification was that of the Acoept%iic« 
king's acceptance of the new Constitution, itHutioa 
accompanied with fanfaronades in the mod- 
ern style of the French bureaus : things which have 
much more the air and character of the saucy decla- 
mations of their clubs than the tone of regular office. 

It has not been very usual to notify to foreign 
courts anything concerning the internal arrange- 
ments of any state. In the present case, the cir- 



4 





i ■; 



316 



THOuanis ON pbench affairs. 






cumstance of these two notifications, witli the obser- 
vations with which they are attended, does not leave 
it in the choice of the sovereigns of Christendom to 
appear ignorant either of this French Revolution or 
(what is more important) of its principlti. 

We know, that, very soon after this manifesto of 
Monsieur do Montmorin, the king of France, in 
whose name it was made, ' himself obliged to 

fly, with his whole family, — leaving behind him a 
declaration in which he disavows and annuls that 
Constitution, as having been the effect of force on 
his person and usurpation on his authority. It is 
equally notorious, that this unfortunate prince was, 
with many circumstances of insult and outrage, 
brought back prisoner by a deputation of the pre- 
tended National Assembly, and afterwards suspend- 
ed by their authority from his government. Under 
equally notorious constraint, and under menaces of 
total deposition, he has been compelled to accept 
what they call a Constitution, and to agree to what- 
ever else tha usurped power wliich holds him in 
confinement thinks proper to impose. 

His next brother, who had fled with him, and his 
third brother, who had fled before him, all the 
princes of his blood who remained faithful to him, 
and the flower of his magistracy, his clergy, and his 
nobility, continue in foreign countries, protesting 
against all acts done by him in his present situa- 
tion, on the grounds upon which he had himself 
protested against them at the time of his flight,— 
with this addition, that they deny his very compe- 
tence (as on good grounds they may) to abrogate 
the royalty, or the ancient constitutional orders of 
tlie kingdom. In this protest they are joined by 



' I 



THOUGHTS ON FHENCH AFFAIBS. 



817 



three hundred of the late Assembly itself, and, in 
effect, by a great part of the French nation. The 
new government (so far as the people dare to dis- 
close their centiments) is disdained, I am persuaded, 
by the greater number, — who, as M. de La Fayette 
complains, and as the truth is, have declined to take 
any share in the new elections to the National As- 
sembly, either as candidates or electors. 

In this state of things, (that is, in the case of a 
divided kingdom,) by the law of nations,* Great 
Britain, like every other power, is free to take any 
part she pleases. She may decline, with more or 
less formality, according to her discretion, to ac- 
knowledge this new system; or she may recognize 
it as a government de facto, setting aside all discus- 
sion of its original legality, and considering the an- 
cient monarchy as at an end. The law of nations 
leaves our court open to its choice. We have no 
direction but what is found in the well-understood 
policy of the king and kingdom. 

This declaration of a netv species of government, 
on new principles, (such it professes itself to be,) is 
a real crisis in the politics of Europe. The conduct 
which prudence ought to dictate to Great Britain 
will not depend (as hitherto our connectio'^ or quar- 
Te\ with other states has for some time acpended) 
upon merely external relations, but in a great meas- 
ure also upon the system which we may think it 
right to adopt for the internal government of our 
own coimtry. 

If it be our policy to assimilate our government to 
that of France, we ought to prepare for this change 
by encouraging the schemes of authority established 

• See Vattel, B. II. c. 4, sect. 56, and B. in. c. 18, sect. 296. 



^l.j 




I 



818 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFPAIBS. 



there. We ought to wink at the captivity and dc^X)- 
sition of a prince with whom, if not in close alliance, 
we were in friendship. We ought to fall in with the 
ideas of Monsieur Montmorin's circular manifesto, 
and to do business of course with the functionaries 
who act under the new power by which that king to 
whom his Majesty's minister has been sent to reside 
has been deposed and imprisoned. On that idea we 
ought also to withhold all sorts of direct or indirect 
countenance from those who are treating in G •; .nany 
for the reestablishment of the French mona- / and 
the ancient orders of that state. This c iuct is 
suitable to this policy. 

The question is, whether this policy be suitable to 
the interests of the crown and subjects of Great Brit- 
ain. Let us, therefore, a little consider the true na- 
ture and probable effects of the Revolution which, in 
such a very unusual manner, has been twice diplo- 
matically announced to his Majesty. 
Differenf There have been many internal revolu- 

BeToltSion tious iu tho govemmcnt of countries, both 
as to persons and forms, in which the neigh- 
boring states have had little or no concern. What- 
ever the government might be with respect to those 
persons and those forms, the stationary interests of 
the nation concerned have most commonly influenced 
the new governments in the same manner in which 
they infiuenced the old ; and the revolution, turning 
on matter of local grievance or of local accommoda- 
tion, did not extend 'oeyond its territory. 
Nrian of The px'escnt Revolution in France seems 
Reroiuuoa. to me to bo quito of another character and 
description, and to bear little resemblance or anal- 
ogy to any of those which have been brought about 



THOUOHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



819 



ItieffteMi 



in Europe, upon principles merelj political. Bit a 
Revolution of dodrine and theoretic dogma. It has u 
much greater rejemblanue to those changes which 
have been made upon religious grounds, in which a 
spirit of proselytism makes an essential part. 

The last revolution of doctrine and theory which 
has happened in Europe is the Reformation. It is 
not for my purpose to take any notice here of the 
merits of that revolution, but to state one only of its 
effects. 

That effect was, to introduce other interettt 
into aU covntrie$ than those which arose from 
their hcality and natural eircumHances. The princi- 
ple of the Reformation was such as, by its essence, 
could not be local or confined to the country in 
which it had its origin. For instance, the doctrine 
of " Justification by Faith or by Works," which was 
the original basis of the Reformation, could not have 
one of its alternatives true as to Germany and false 
as to every other country. Neither are questions 
of theoretic truth and falsahood governed by circum- 
stances any more ihan by places. On tliat occasion, 
therefore, the spirit of proselytism expanded itself 
with great elasticity upon all sides: and great divis 
ions were everywhere the result. 

These divisions, however in appearance merely 
dogmatic, soon became mixed with the political; 
and their effects were rendered much more intense 
from this combination. Europe was for a long time 
divided into two great factions, under the name of 
Catholic and Protestant, which not only often alien- 
ated state from state, but also divided almost every 
state within itself. The warm parties in each state 
were more affectionately attached to those of their 



,i 



l&J 




I • i' 

■1 i 



■fU 



if" ^7 



820 



TiJo.'OHTS ON FSEN'CH AFFAIBS. 



own doctrinal iiucrest in some other country than 
to their fellow-citizens or to their natural govern- 
ment, when they or eitiier of them hapjjened to be of 
a different persuasion. These factions, wherever they 
prevailed, if they did not absolutely destroy, at least 
weakened and distracted the locality of patriotism. 
The public affections came to have other motives ami 
other ties. 

It would be to repeat the history of the two last 
centuries to exemplify the effects of this revolution. 

Although the principles to wliich it gave rise did 
not operate with a perfect regularity and constancy, 
tliey never v.holly ceased to operate. Few wars were 
made, and few treaties were entered into, in whi h 
tliey did not come in for some part. Tliey gavr a 
color, a character, aud direction to all the politics 
of Europe. 

Jl^iiuST "^''^^^ principles of internal as well as 
external division and coalition are but just 
now extinguished. But they who will examine in- 
to the true character and genius of some late eveiu,-^ 
must be satisfied that other sources of faction, com- 
bining parties among the inhabitants of different 
countries into one connection, are opened, and that 
from these sources are likely to arise effects *"ull ii- 
importaiii as those wliich had formerly arisen fro 
the jarrui- interests of the religious sects. The in- 
tention of the several actors in the chaii<r,, in Fv:\nr 
is not a matter of doubt. It is very openly professed. 
In the iiiodern world, before this time, there has 
been no instance of tliis spirit of ; -nerai political 
faction, separated from relit: on, pervadii several 
countries, and forming a prin. iple of unio betAven 
the partisans in each. But tie thing is n less in 



'■ 1 



TIIOTOH'-a ON FOnNCH A PAIUS, 



'.'.21 



human imttiro. The ancient worl.. has u nisliot] 
strong and 'tikiiiii instain of suci> a gi iiuid i'*) 
faction, 'lU as pow rful a ul iill a ui-sehiuvous at 
our s|iirit of rolif;i< us fy-tem had • vcr lM-.'n, ex- 
citing i.i all tlic hiaes "f Gn-octi (P^uroj^an and 
A'iitic) the mo-^t violeni animosities and tin! mo^t 
cruel and hloody iierh. oulions and inoseriptions. 
Thusi; iiiici'Mit lactioh- iu each comnionwvallh of 
Greece cuu u'ctod tli-'mselves with tho^e of tho sanv 
duscrii'iion in some ■Uior states ; ani' secret caliaL 
and pui'lic alliances wero cai-ried on and made, not 
upon a conformity of general i-olitical itorests, hut 
for the support and :iggrandizeiu>;ut of t two l.-ad- 
lUg states wliich headed the a. tocr and de iio- 
cratic factions. For as, in later times, tlio kiuL if 
.Spam was at tlio head if a Catiiolic, and tho kii ^' 
of Sweden ol a Protestant intere--t, (France, th' u^ 
Ca?liolic, actiuL'^ subu/ Unatel} o tho i tttor,) in ti • 
like manner tlu; Lacedemonian- wero everywhere 
tiie head of the aristo* ="atic uitor >sts, and the loni- 
uiis of tho democra. . The "wo leading poN ors pt 
alive a couotant canal and consuiracy in evi • s?<ite, 
iWid the piditie,;! dogmas concernih-f the coi.^tilution 
of a ropuhlio v\ -^^ tlio great instruments hy v "H 
liese leading s Ues i-hose to a a'andize thems 
riieir choice v is not unwise ; oeca'ise the ini 
in opinions, (m rel} a.- oj nion^, and t^ •', jut ;- _, 
experiaiental re.orence to l.oir . ITect-,; hen once 
they take strong hold of the mind, becinnc the most 
operative of all interests, and indeed very often su- 
persede every other. 

I m ght further xemi 1' y the possibility < a i 'lit- 
ical sentiment running iroiigh various stu , and 
combining factions in t m, from the history of the 



ToL. IV. 



ai 




H 



I ■ • * > 




822 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFPAmS. 



Middle Ages in the Guelfs and Ghibellines. Tliese 
were political factions originally in favor of the Em- 
peror and the Pope, with no mixture of religious dog- 
mas : or if anything religiously doctrinal they had 
in them originally, it very soon disappeared ; as their 
first political objects disappeared also, though the 
spirit remained. They became no more than names 
to distinguish factions: but they were not the less 
powerful in their operation, when they had no direct 
point of doctrine, either religious or civil, to assert. 
For a long time, however, those factions gave no 
small degree of influence to the foreign chiefs in 
every commonwealth in which they existed. I do 
not mean to pursue further the track of these parties. 
I allude to this part of history only as it furnishes an 
instance of that species of faction which broke the 
locality of public affections, and united descriptions 
of citizens more with strangers than with their coun- 
trymen of different opinions. 

Prenchfan- The political dogma, which, upon the new 
principle. French system, is to unite the factions of 
different nations, is this : " That the majority, told liy 
the head, of the taxable people in every country, is 
the perpetual, natural, unceasing, indefeasible sover- 
eign ; that this majority is perfectly master of the 
form as well as the administration of the state, and 
that the magistrates, under whatever names they are 
called, are only functionaries to obey the orders (gen- 
eral as laws or particular as decrees) wliich that 
majority may make ; that this is the only natural 
government ; that all others are tyranny and usur- 
pation." 

Practical In Order to reduce this dogma into prac- 

tice, the republicans in France, and their 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIB8. 



823 



associates in other countries, make it always their 
business, and often their public profession, to destroy 
all traces of ancient establishments, and to form a 
new commonwealth in each country, upon the basis 
of the French Righ^t of Men. On the principle of 
these rights, they mean to institute in every country, 
and as it were the germ of the ^^ hole, parochial gov- 
ernments, for the purpose of what they call equal 
representation. From them is to grow, by some iiio- 
dia, a general council and representative of all the 
parochial governments. In that representative is to 
be vested the whole national power, — totally abol- 
ishing hereditary ncme and office, levelling all con- 
ditions of men, (except where money must make a 
difference,) breaking all connection between territory 
and dignity, and abolishing every species of nobility, 
gentry, and Church establishments : all their priests 
and all their magistrates being only creatures of 
election and pensioners at will. 

Kjiowing how opposite a permanent landed inter- 
est is to that scheme, they have resolved, and it is 
the great drift of all their regulations, to reduce that 
description of men to a mere peasantry for tlie sus- 
tenance of the towns, and to place the true effective 
government in cities, among the tradesmen, bankers, 
and voluntary clubs of bold, presuming young per- 
sons, — advocates, attorneys, notaries, managers of 
newspapers, and those cabals of literary men called 
academies. Their republic is to have a first func- 
tionary, (as they call him,) under the name of King, 
or not, as they think fit. This officer, when sucli 
an officer is permitted, is, however, neither in fact 
nor name to be considered as sovereign, nor the peo- 
ple as his subjects. The very use of these appella- 
tions is offensive to their eas-?, 






I I 



PI 



824 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFPAIBS. 







PartiMOT of This system, as it has first been real- 
•yrt™.°° izcd, dogmatically as well as practically, in 
France, makes France the natural head of all factions 
formed on a similar principle, wherever they may pre- 
vail, as much as Athens was the head and settled al- 
ly of all democratic factions, wherever they existed. 
Tlie other system has no head. 

This system has very many partisans in every 
country in Europe, but particularly in England, 
wliere they are already formed into a body, com- 
nroheiiding most of the Dissenters of the three lead- 
in ; denominations. To these are readily aggregated 
all who are Dissenters in character, temper, and dis- 
position, though not belonging to any of their congre- 
gations : tliat is, all the restless people who resem- 
lile them, of all ranks and all parties, — Whigs, and 
even Tories; the whole race of half-bred specula- 
tors; all the Atheists, Deists, and Socinians; all 
those who hate the clergy and envy the nobility ; a 
good many among the moneyed people ; the East In- 
dians almost to a man, who cannot bear to find that 
tlieir present importance does not bear a proportion 
to their wealth. These latter have united themselves 
into one great, and, in my opinion, formidable club,* 
which, though now quiet, may be brought into action 
with considerable unanimity and force. 

Formerly, few, except the ambitious great or the 
desperate and indigent, were to be feared as instru- 
ments in rovohitions. What has liappened in France 
teaches \i^, with many other things, that there are 
more causes than have coramoi.ly been taken into 

• OriginBlIy called the Bengal Club ; but since opened to persons 
from the other Presidencies, for the purpose of consolidating the whole 
Indian interest 



r' 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



325 



our consideration, by which govei'nment may be sub- 
verted. The moneyed men, merchants, principal 
tradesmen, and men of letters (hitherto generally 
thought the peaceable and even timid part of so- 
ciety) are the chief actors in the French Revolu- 
tion. But the fact is, that, as money increases and 
circulates, and as the circulation of news in politics 
and letters becomes more and more diffused, the per- 
sons vlio dififuse this money and this intelligence 
become more and more important. This was not 
long undiscovered. Views of ambition were in 
France, for the first time, presented to these classes 
of men : objects in the state, in the army, in the sys- 
tem of civil offices of every kind. Their eyes were 
dazzled with this new prospect. They were, as it 
were, electrified, and made to lose the natural spirit 
of their situation. A bribe, great without example 
in the history of the world, was held out to them, — 
the whole government of a very large kingdom. 
There ai'e several who are persuaded that Grounds of 

, . T-i 1 1 security fup- 

the same thnig cannot happen m Lnglanu, posed for 

. rt England. 

because here (they say) the occupations of 
merchants, tradesmen, and manufacturers are not 
held as degrading situations. I once thouglit that 
the low estimation in which commerce "as held in 
France might be reckoned among the causes of the 
late Revolution ; and I am still of opinion that the 
exclusive spirit of the French nobility did irritate the 
wealthy of other classes. But I found long since, 
that persons in trade and business were by no means 
despised in France in the manner I had been taught 
to believe. As to men of letters, they were Lucmry 

• Interest. 

80 far from benig despised or neglected, 

that there was no country, perhaps, in the universe, 






326 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFPAtBS. 



IMP 



a 






«l 



) 










' '1 



in which they were so highly esteemed, courted, ca- 
ressed, and even feai-ed : tradesmen naturally were 
not so mucli sought in society, (as not furnishing 
BO largely to the fund of conversation as they do tc 
the revenues of the state,) but the latter description 
got forward every day. M. Bailly, who made him- 
self the popular mayor on the rebellion of the Bas- 
tile, and is a principal actor in the revolt, before the 
change possessed a pension or office imder the crown 
of six hundred pound English a year, — for that 
country, no contemptible provision ; and this he ol)- 
tained solely as a man of letters, and on no other 
Moneyed title. As to tlio moueycd men, whilst the 

monarchy continued, there is no doubt, 
that, merely as such, they did not enjoy the privileges 
of nobility ; but nobility was of so easy an acquisi- 
tion, that it was the fault or neglect of all of that 
description who did not obtain its privileges, for 
their lives at least, in virtue of office. It attached 
under the royal government to an innumerable mul- 
titude of places, real and nominal, that were vendi- 
ble ; and such nobility were as capable of everj'thing 
as their degree of influence or interest could make 
them, — that is, as nobility of no considerable rank 
or consequence. M. Necker, so far from being a 
French gentleman, was not so much as a Frenchman 
born, and yet we all know the rank in which he stood 
on the day of the meeting of the States. 

As to the mere matter of estimation of 

the mercantile or any oUicr class, this is 
regulated by opinion and prejudice. In England, a 
security against the envy of men in these classes is 
not so very complete as we may imagine. We must 
not impose upon ourselves. What institutions and 



Stnrcantile 
liiureat. 



THOUGH rS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



327 



mamiers together had done iu France manners alone 
do here. It is the natural operation of things, where 
there exists a crown, a court, splendid orders of 
knighthood, and an hereditary nobility, — where 
tliere exists a fixed, permanent, landed gentry, con- 
tinued in greatness and opulence by the law of pri- 
mogeniture, and by a prelection given to family set- 
tlements, — where there exists a standuig army and 
jiavy, — where there exists a Church establishment, 
which bestows on learning and parts an interest com- 
bined with that of religion and the state; — in a 
country where such things exist, wealth, new in its 
acquisition, and precarious in its duration, can never 
lanlc first, or even near the first : though wealth has 
its natural weight further than as it is balanced and 
even preponderated amongst us, as amongst other na- 
tions, by artificial institutions and opinions ^'rowing 
out of them. At no period in the history of England 
have so few peers been taken out of trade or from 
families newly created by commerce. In no period 
has so small a number of noble families entered into 
the counting-house. I can call to mind but one in 
all England, and his is of near fifty years' standing. 
Be that as it may, it appears plain to me, from my 
best observation, that envy and ambition may, by art, 
management, and disposition, be as much excited 
amongst these descriptions of men n England as in 
any other country, and that they are just as capable 
of acting a part in any great change. 

What direction the French spirit of pros- ^^^^^^»Jl 
elytism is likely to take, and in what order '^^-^^ 
it is likely to prevail in the several parts of 
Europe, it is not easy to determine. The seeds are 
sown almost everywhere, chiefly by newspaper circu- 



IVJti — .41' *kI.kJJL' 



TfT' 




l^l'h 



Ik If 



!M 



'• ^^ 






rfiS 



t:i 




828 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIKS. 



latious, infinitely more efficacious and extensive tliuii 
ever tiiey were. And they are a more important in- 
strument than generally is imagined. They are a 
part of the reading of all ; they are the whole of 
the reading of the far greater number. There are 
thirty of them in Paris alone. The language dilfuscs 
them more widely than the English, — though tlio 
English, too, are much read. The writers of those 
papers, indeed, for the greater part, are either un- 
known or in contempt, but they are like a battery, 
in which the stroke of any one ball produces no great 
elTect, but the amount of continual repetition is de- 
cisive. Let us only suffer any person to tell us 
his story, morning and evening, but for one twelve- 
month, and he will become our master. 

All those countries in which several states are 
comprehended under some general geographical de- 
scription, and loosely united by some federal consti 
tution, — countries of which the members are small, 
and greatly diversified in their forms of government, 
and in the titles by which they arc held, — these 
countries, as it miglit be well expected, are the prin- 
cipal objects of their hopes and macliinations. Of 
these, the chief are Germany and Switzerland ; after 
them, Itiily has its place, as in circumstances some- 
what similar. 

Germany. ^^^ ^^ Germany, (in which, from their re- 

lation to the Emperor, I comprclieiid tlio 
Belgic Provinces,) it appears to me to be, from sev- 
eral circumstances, internal and external, in a very 
critical situation ; and the laws and liberties of the 
Empire are by no means secure from the contagion 
of the French doctrines and the effect of French in- 
trigues, or from the use which two of the greater 



THO0GET8 ON PBENCH AFFAIRS. 



329 



German powers may make of a general derangement 
to the general detriment. I do not say that the 
French do not mean to bestow on these German 
states liberties, and laws too, after their mode ; but 
those are not what have hitherto been understood 
as the laws and liberties of the Empire. These exist 
and have always existed under the principles of feo- 
dal tenure and succession, under imperial constitu- 
tions, grants and concessions of sovereigns, family 
compacts, and public treaties, made under the sanc- 
tion, and some of them guarantied by the sovereign 
powers of other nations, and particularly the old gov- 
ernment of France, the author and natural support 
of the Treaty of Westphalia. 

In short, the Germanic body is a vast mass of het- 
erogeneous states, held together by that heteroge- 
neous body of old principles which formed the public 
law positive and doctrinal. The modern laws and 
liberties, which the new power in France proposes 
to introduce into Germany, and to su[iport with all 
its force of intrigue and of arms, is of a very differ- 
ent nature, utterly irreconcilable with the first, and 
indeed fundamentally the reverse of it : I mean the 
rights and liberties of the man, the droit de V homme. 
That tins doctrine has made an amazing progress 
in Germany there cannot be a shadow of doubt. 
They are infected by it along the whole course of 
the Rhine, the Maese, the Moselle, and in the great- 
er part of Suabia and Franconia. It is particularly 
prevalent amongst all the lower people, churchmen 
and laity, in the dominions of the Ecclosias- Ecciesiasu- 

ctil sittto* 

tical Electors. It is not easy to find or to 
conceive governments more mild and indulgent than 
these Church sovereignties; but good government 



WM:- 




880 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIRS. 




Balance o( 
Qermaor. 



U as nothing, vrhen the rights of man take posses- 
sion of tlie mind. Indeed, the loose rein held over 
the people in those provinces must be considered as 
one cause of the facility with which they lend them- 
selves to ajiy schemes of innovation, by inducing 
tliera to think lightly of their governments, and to 
judge of grievances, not by feeling, but by imagi- 
nation. 

It is in these Electorates that the first im- 
pressions of France are likely to be made ; 
and if they succeed, it is over with the Germanic 
body, as it stands at present. A great revolution 
is preparing in Germany, and a revolution, in my 
opinion, likely to be more decisive upoi. the general 
fate of nations than that of France itself, — other 
tlian as in France is to be found the first source of 
all the principles which are in any way likely to dis- 
tinguish the troubles and convulsions of our age. If 
Europe does not conceive the independence and tlio 
equilibrium of the Empire to be in tlie very ess ^o 
of the system of balanced power in Europe, ai.. .!' 
the sriheme of piiblic law, or mass of laws, upon wlii ii 
that independence and equilibrium are founded, be 
of no leading consequence as they are preserved or 
destroyed, all the politics of Europe for more tlian 
two centuries have been miserably erroneous. 

If the two great leading powers of Ger- 
many do not regard this danger (as appar- 
ently they do not) in the light in which it presents 
itself so naturally, it is because they are powers too 
great to have a social interest. Tliat sort of interest 
belongs only to those whose state of weakness or 
mediocrity i'' such as to give them greater cause of 
apprehension from what may destroy them than of 



Pru9fl!a and 
Emperor. 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



831 



bope from anything by which they may be aggran- 
dized. 

As long as those two princes are at variance, so 
long the liberties of Germany are safe. But if ever 
they should so far understand one another as to be 
persuaded that they have a more direct and more 
certainly defined interest in a proportioned mutual 
aggrandizement than in a reciprocal reduction, that 
is, if they come to tl.ink that they are more likely to 
be enriched by a division of spoil than to be rendered 
secure by keeping to the old policy of preventing oth- 
ers from boing spoiled by either of them, from that 
moment the liberties of Germa,ny are no more. 

That a junction of two in such a scheme is neither 
impossible nor improbable is evident from the parti- 
tion of Poland i-i 1773, which was efiected by such a 
junction as made the interposition of other nations 
to prevent it not easy. Their circumstances at that 
time iiiiidered any other three states, or indeed any 
two, from taking measures in common to prevent it, 
though France was at that time an existing power, 
and had not yet learned to act upon a system of pol- 
itics of her own invention. The geographical posi- 
tion of Poland was a great obstacle to any movements 
of France in opposition to this, at that time, unpar- 
alleled league. To my certain knowledge, if Great 
Britain had at that time been willing to concur in 
preventing the execution of a project so dangerous in 
the example, even exhausted as France then was by 
the preceding war, and under a lazy and unenterpris- 
i'ig prince, she would have at every risk taken an 
active part in this business. But a languor with 
regard to so remote an interest, and the principles 
etid passions which were then strongly at work at 



■1 



■ 1 

la 




882 



THOnOHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIRS. 








home, were tho causes why Oreat Britain would not 
give France any encouragement in such an enter- 
prise. At that time, however, and with regard to 
that object, in my opinion. Great Britain and Franco 
had a common interest. 

p,«»ii>ie But the position of Germany is not liki' 

the Emperor that of Poland, with regard to France, eitlicr 

•Dd king of „ , » ., T^ . • I 

PniMia. for good or for evil. If a conjunction li'- 
tween Prussia and the Emperor should bo formed for 
the purpose of secularizing and rendering hereditary 
the Ecclesiastical Electorates and tho Bishopric of 
Miinster, for settling two of them on the children of 
the Emperor, and uniting Cologne and Miinster to the 
dominions of the king of Prussia on the Rhine, or if 
any other project of mutual aggrandizement should 
be in prospect, and that, to facilitate such a scheme, 
the modern French should be permitted and encour- 
aged to shake the internal and external security of 
these Ecclesiastical Electorates, Great Britain is so 
situated that she could not with any effect set herself 
in opposition to such a design. Her principal arm, 
her marine, could here be of no sort of use. 
To be re- France, the author of the Treaty of Wcst- 

by Fra"nce. plialia, is the natural guardian of the inde- 
pendence and balance of Germany. Great Britain 
(to say li thing of the king's concern as one of that 
august body) has a serious interest in preserving it ; 
but, except through the power of France, acting upon 
the common old principles of >>( ate policy, m the cascwtj 
have supposed, she has no sort of moans of support- 
ing that interest. It is always tiie interest of Great 
Britain that the power of France should be kept with- 
in the bounds of moderation. It is not her interest 
that that power should bo wiiolly annihilated in the 






THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIRS. 



333 



s^rFtem of Europe. Tliough at one time through 
France the iudependcnc" of Europe was endangered, 
it is, and ever was, thrc gh her aloue that the com- 
mon liberty of Germany can l>e secured against the 
single or the combined ambition of any other power, 
lu truth, within this century the aggrandizement of 
other sovereign houses has been such that there has 
been a great change in tlio whole state of Europe ; 
and other nations as well as Franco may become ob- 
jects of jealousy and apprehension. 

Ill this state of things, a new princifjle of ^"'XJ'lJ" 
alliances and wars is opened. The Treaty mi '»«■ 
of Westphalia is, with France, an unticiuato^l fable. 
Tiie rights and liberties she was bound to maintain 
are now a system of wrong and tyranny which she is 
bound to destroy. Her good and ill dispositions aro 
5-hown by the same means. To communicate peace- 
ally the rights of men is the true mode of her show- 
ing her friendship ; to force sovereigns to suhnit to 
those rights is her mode of hostility. So that, cither 
as friend or foe, her whole scheme has been, and is, 
to throw the Empire into confusion ; and those states- 
men who follow the old routine of politics may see 
in this general confusion, and in the danger of tin; 
lei»er princes, an occasion, as protectors or enemies, 
of connecting their territories to one or the other of 
the hvo great German powers. They do not take into 
consideration that the means which they encourage, 
as leading to the event they desire, will with certainty 
not only ravage and destroy the Empire, but, if they 
should for a moment seem to aggrandize tlio two 
great houses, will also establish principles and con- 
firm tempers amongst the people which will preclude 
tlie two sovereigns from the possibility of holding 



4 



884 



THOUOHTS ON FBENCH APFAIBS. 



i 



'": Si ri 




what they acquire, or even the duminions which they 
hare inherited. It is on the side of the Ecclesiastical 
Electorates tliat the dikes raised to support the Ger- 
man liberty first will give way. 

The French have begun their general operations 
by seizing upon those territories of the Pope the 
situation of which was the most inviting to the en- 
terprise. Their method of doing it was by excit- 
ing sedition and spreading massacre and desolation 
tlirough those unfortunate places, and then, under 
an idea of kindness and protection, bringing forward 
an antiquated title of the crown of •■^r -ice, and an- 
nexing Avignon and the two citie- of the Comtat, 
with their territory, to the French i public. They 
have made an attempt on Geneva, in which 
thoy very narrowly failed of success. It is 
known that they hold out from time to time the idea 
of uniting all the other provinces of which Gaul was 
anciently composed, including Savoy on the 
other side, and on this side bounding them- 
selves by the Rhine. 

As to Switzerland, it is a country whose 
long union, rather than its possible division, 
is the matter of wonder. Here I know they entertain 
very sanguine hopes. The aggregation to France of 
the democratic Swiss republics appears to them to be 
a work half done by their very form ; and it might 
seem to them rather an increase of importance to 
these little commonwealths than a derogation from 
their independency or a change in the manner of 
their government. Upon any quarrel amongst the 
Cantons, nothing is more likely than such an event. 
As to the aristocratic republics, the general clamor 
and hatred which the French excite against the very 



OtncTk. 



Imnj. 



S^'tbtlerd. 



* \ 



H 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS, 



8^5 



name, (and with more facility -md success tli.m 
against monarchs,) aii^i tlio utter ii, .ossi'iility of 
their government mak.iig any burt of rc^stancu 
against an insurrection, where they have n trcps, 
and the people arc all armed and traim i, .nder 
their hopes in that quarter I'ar indeud from un- 
founded. It is certain that the repul)lic of Beru 
thinks ithuif obliged to a vigilance next to hostile, 
and t( imprison or expel lU the French whom it 
finds iu ts territories. But, indeed, tliose ari>!oc- 
racies, which comprehend whatever is considcrat.le, 
wealthy, and valuable in Switzerland, i) now so 
wholly depend upon opinion, and the hu- o'^J""" 
mor of their multitude, that the lightest ^.^^f'^-j-J" 
puff of wind is sufficient to blow then. p">0'-'''«- 
down. If Franco, under its ancient regimen, and 
upon the ancient principles of policy, was the sup- 
port of the Germanic Constitution, it was much more 
so of that of Switzerland, which almost from the very 
origin of that confederacy rested upon the closeness 
of its connection with France, on which the Swiss 
Cantons wholly reposed themselves for the preser- 
vation of the parts of their body in their respective 
rights and perman n+, forms, as well as for the main- 
tenance of all in their general independency. 

Switzerland and Germany are the first objects of 
the new French politicians. When I contemplate 
what they have done at home, which is, in effect, 
little less than an amazing or; ^uest, wrought by a 
change of opinion, in a great part (to be sure far 
from altogether) very sudden, I cannot help letting 
my thoughts run along with their designs, and, with- 
out attending to geographical order, to consider the 
other states of Europe, so far as they may bo any way 



^1 




» 



■V' I 



i \ 



836 



THOUGHTS ON FEENXH AFFAIRS. 



aiTected by this astonishing Revolution. If early 
stops are not taken in some way or other to pre- 
vent the spreading of this influence, I scarcely 
think any of tliem perfectly secure. 

Italy is divided, as Germany and Switzer- 
land are, into many smaller states, and witli 
some considerable diversity as to forms of govern- 
ment ; but as these divisions and varieties in Italy 
are not so considerable, so neither do I think the 
danger altogether so imminent there as in Germany 
and Switzerland. Savoy I know that the French 
consider as in a very hopeful way, and I believe not 
at all without reason. They view it as an old mem- 
ber of the kingdom of France, which may be easily 
reunited in the manner and on the principles of the 
reunion of Avignon. This country communicates 
with Piedmont; and as the king of Sardinia's do- 
minions were long the key of Italy, and as such lo!i<r 
regarded by France, whilst France acted on her old 
maxims, and with views on Italy, — so, in this new 
French empire of sedition, if once she gets that key 
into her liands, she can easily lay open the barrier 
which hinders the entrance of her present politics in- 
to that inviting region. Milan, I am sure, nourishes 
great disquiets ; and if Milan should stir, no part 
of Lombardy is secure to the present pos- 
sessors, — whether the Venetian or the Aus- 
Genoa is closely connected with France. 
Tiie first prince of the House of Rourbon 
has been obliged to give himself up entirely 
to the new system, and to pretend even to propagate 
it with all zeal : at least, that club of intriguers who 
assemble at the Feuillants, and whose cabinet meets 
at Madame de Stael's, and makes and directs all the 



Lombardy. 



trian. 

Rourbon 
princes in 



If s 



THOUOHTS ON FBKNCH AFibAIBS. 



337 



ministers, is the real executive government of France. 
The Emperor is perfectly in concert, and they will not 
long suflFer any prince of the House of Bourbon to 
keep by force the French emissaries out of their do- 
minions ; nor whilst France has a commerce with 
them, especially through Marseilles, (the hottest fo- 
cus of sedition in France,) will it be long possible to 
prevent the intercourse or the effects. 

Naples has an old, inveterate disposition to repub- 
licanism, and ( however for some time past quiet) is 
as liable to explosion as its own Vesuvius. Sicily, I 
think, has these dispositions in full as strong a de- 
gree. In neither of these countries exists anything 
wliich very well deserves the name of government or 
exact police. 

In the States of the Church, notwith- Eccie«i»»ti- 

,. ,, . . . , . , . , cal State. 

standuig their strictness m banishing the 
French out of that country, there are not wanting the 
seeds of a revolution. The spirit of nepotism prevails 
there nearly as strong as ever. Every Pope of course 
is to give origin or restoration to a great family by 
the means of largo donations. The foreign revenues 
have long been gradually on the decline, and seem 
now in a manner dried up. To supply this defect, 
the resource of vexatious and impolitic jobbing at 
home, if anything, is rather increased than lessened. 
Various well-intended, but ill-understood practices, 
some of them existing, in their spirit at least, from 
the time of the old Roman Empire, still prevail ; and 
that government is as blindly attached to old abusive 
customs as others are wildly disposed to all sorts 
of innovations and experiments. These abuses were 
less folt whilst the Pontificate drew riclios from abroad, 
which in some measure counterbalanced the evils of 

VOL. IT. S8 



t~^ 



'1^ 



^'"i 



338 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAffiS. 






i rt 



1 I 



i ! 



their remiss and jobbish government at home. But 
now it can subsist only on the resources of domestic 
management ; and abuses in that management of 
course will be more intimately and more severely 

felt. 

In the midst of the apparently torpid languor of 
the Ecclesiastical State, those who have had opportu- 
nity of a near observation have seen a little rippling 
iu that smooth water, which indicates something alive 
under it. There is in the Ecclesiastical State a per- 
sonage who seems capable of acting ( but with more 
force and steadiness) the part of the tribune Rienzi. 
The people, once inflamed, will not be destitute of a 
leader. They have such an one already in the Car- 
dinal or Archbishop Boncompagni. Ho is, of all 
men, if I am not ill-informed, the most tui'>ulent, 
seditious, intriguing, bold, and desperate. He is not 
at all made for a Roman of the present day. i thiiilt 
he lately held the first office of their state, that of 
Great Chamberlain, which is equivalent to High Treas- 
urer. At present he is out of employment, and ni 
disgrace. If he should be elected Pope, or even cou.e 
to have any weight with a new Pope, he will infalli- 
bly conjure up a democratic spirit in that country. 
He may, indeed, be able to effect it without these 
advantages. The next interrognum will probably 
show more of him. There may be otl.ers of tlie 
san-e character, who have not come to my knowl- 
edge. This much is certain, — that the Roman peo- 
ple, if once the blind reverence they boar to the sanc- 
tity of the Pope, which is their only bridle, should 
relax, are natursiUy turbulent, ferocious, and head- 
Ion"-, whilst the poiice is defective, and the govern 
ment feeble and resourceless beyond all imagination. 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



339 



Spain. 



As to Spain, it is a nerveless couutiy. It 
does not possess the use, it only suffers the 
abus( of a nobility. For some time, and even before 
the settlement of the Bourbon dynasty, that body has 
been systematically lowered, and rendered incapable 
bv exclusion, and for incapacity excluded from affairs. 
In this circle the body is in a manner annihilated ; 
and so little means have they of any weighty exertion 
either to control or to support the crown, that, if they 
at all interfere, it is only by abetting desperate and 
mobbisli insurrections, like that at Madrid, which 
drove Squillace from his place. Florida Blauca is 
a creature of office, and has little coimection and no 
sympatliy with that body. 

As to the clergy, they are the only thing in Spain 
that looks like an independent order; and they are 
kept in some respect by the Inquisition, the sole, but 
unhappy resource of public tranquillity and order now 
remaining in Spain. As in Venice, it is become most- 
ly an engine of state, — whicli, indeed, to a degree, 
it has always been in Spain. It wars no longer with 
Jews and heretics: it has no such war to carry on. 
Ite great object is, to keep atheistic and republican 
doctrines from making their way in that kingdom. 
No French book upon any subject can enter there 
which does not contain such matter. In Spain, the 
clergy are of moment from their influence, but at 
the same time with the envy aud jealousy that attend 
great riches and power. Though the crown has by 
management with tlie Pope got a very great t^hare of 
the loclesiastical revenues into its own hands, much 
still remahis to them. There will always be about 
that court those who look out to a farther division 
of tl\e Cliurch property as a resource, and to be ob- 






840 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCB APPAIB8. 



\t 




'}■:■ !'■ 



I 

1 ' 



* i 



! 1 



taiued by shorter methods than those of uegotiatioiis 
with the clergy and their chief. But at present I 
thiuk it Ukely that they will stop, lest the business 
should be taken out of their hands, — and lest that 
body, in which remauis the only life that exists in 
Spain, and is not a fever, may with their property 
lose all the influence necessary to preserve the mon- 
archy, or, being poor and desperate, may employ 
whatever influence remains to them as active agents 
in its destruction. 

Castile dif- The Castilians have still remaining a 
cltoioi.T' good deal of their old character, their gra- 
.ndAragon. ^^^^^^ igaltad, and el temor de Dios ; but 
that character neither is, nor ever was, exactly true, 
except of the Castilians only. The several kingdoms 
which compose Spain have, perhaps, some features 
which run through the whole ; but they arc in many 
particulars as different as nations who go by diiVer- 
ent names: the Catalans, for instance, and the Aia- 
gonians too, in a groat measure, have tlie spirit of the 
Miquelets, and much more of republicanism than of 
an attachment to royalty. They are more in the 
way of trade and intercourse with France, and, upon 
the least internal movement, will disclose and proba- 
bly let loose a spirit that msiy throw the whole Span- 
isli monarchy into convulsions. 

It is a melancholy reflection, that the spirit of 
melioration which has been going on in tliat part of 
Europe, more or less, during this century, and tlie 
various schemes very lately on foot for further ad- 
vancement, are all put a i^top to at once. Rofonna- 
tion certainly is nearly connected with, innovation; 
and where that latter comes in for too hu'io a sliare, 
those who undertake to improve their country may 




THOUGHTS ON FRENCH APPAIB8. 



341 



risk their own safety. In times where the correction, 
which includes the confession, of an abuse, is turned 
to criminate the authority which has long suffered 
it, rather than to honor those who would amend it, 
(which is the spirit of this malignant French distem- 
per,) every step out of the common course becomes 
critical, and renders it a task full of peril for princes 
of moderate talents to engage in great undertakings. 
At present the only safety of Spain is the old national 
hatred to the French. How far that can be depended 
upon, if any great ferments should be excited, it is 
impossible to say. 

As to Portugal, she is out of the high-road of these 
politics. I shall, therefore, not divert my thoughts 
that way, but return again to the North of Europe, 
which at present seems the part most uiterested, and 
there it appears to me that the French speculation on 
the Northern countries may be valued hi the follow- 
ing or some such manner. 

Denmark and Norway do not appear to ^^^^^ 
furnisli any of the materials of a democrat- 
ic revolution, or the dispositions to it. Denmark 
can only be consequentially affected by anything 
done in France ; but of Sweden I think quite other- 
wise. Tlie present power in Sweden is too ^^^^ 
new a system, and too green and too sore 
from its late Revolution, to be considered as perfect- 
ly assured. The king, by his astonishing activity, 
his boldness, his decision, his ready versatility, and 
by rousing and employing the old military s^pirit of 
Sweden, keeps up the top with continual agitation 
and lashing. The moment it ceases to spin, the 
royalty is a dead bit of box. Whenever Sweden 
is quiet externally for -.me time, there is groat dan- 



tfi. 



'iA:-.,f^si^-:iJsysi.s.. 



342 



TBODOHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIBS. 



. f 1 I 






ger tliat all the republican elements she contains will 
be animated by the new French spirit, and of this I 
believe the king is very sensible. 

The Russian government is of all others 
the most liable to be subverted by military 
seditions, by court conspiracies, and sometimes by 
headlong rebellions of the people, such as the turbi- 
nating movement of Pugatchef. It is not quite so 
probable that in any of these changes the spirit of 
system may mingle, in the manner it ha^ done iu 
Prance. The Muscovites are no great speculators; 
but I hhould not much rely on their uninquisitive 
disposition, if any of their ordinary motives to sedi- 
tion should arise. The little catechism of the Rights 
of Men is soon learned ; and the inferences are iu the 
passions. 

Poland, from one cause or other, is al- 
ways unquiet. The new Constitution only 
serves to supply that restless people with new means, 
at least new modes, of cherishing their turbulent dis- 
position. The bottom of the character is the same. 
It is a great question, whether the joining that crown 
with the Electorate of Saxony will coiitril> 
ute most to strengthen the royal autliurity 
of Poland or to shake the ducal in Saxony. The 
Elector is a Catholic ; the people of Saxony are, six 
sevenths at the very least, Protestants. He 7iiHst 
conthme a Catholic, accordhig to tlie Polish law, if 
he accepts that crown. The pride of the Saxons, 
formerly flattered by havii.g a crown in the liou^e 
of their prince, though an honor which cost them 
dear, — the German probity, fidelity, and loyalty, — 
the weight of the Constitution of the Empire under 
the Treaty of Westphalia, — the good temper and 



P^and. 



■■ZODT. 



THOUGHTS ON FEENCH APFAIB8. 



343 



good-nature of the pruices of the House of Saxony, 
had formerly removed from the people all apprehen- 
sion with regard to their religion, and kept them per- 
fectly quiet, obedient, and even affectionate. The 
^even Years' War made some change in the minds of 
the Saxons. Tliey did not, I believe, regret the loss 
of what might be considered almost as the succes- 
eion to the crown of Poland, the possession of which, 
by annexing them to a foreign interest, had often 
obliged them to act an arduous part, towards the 
support of which that foreign interest afforded no 
proportionable strength. In this very delicate situ- 
ation of their political interests, the speculations of 
the French and German JEconomiats, and the cabals, 
and the secret, as well as public doctrines of the 
Illuminatenordm and Freemagons, have made a con 
siderable progress in that country ; and a turbulent 
spirit, under color of religion, but in reality arising 
from the French rights of man, has already shown 
itself, and is ready on every occasion to blaze out. 

The present Elector is a prince of a safe and quiet 
temper, of great prudence and goodness. He knows, 
that, in the actual state of things, not the power and 
respect belonging to sovereigns, but their very exist- 
ence, depends on a reasonable frugality. It is very 
certain that not one sovereign in Europe can either 
promise for the continuance of his authority in a 
state of indigence and insolvency, or dares to ven- 
ture on a new imposition to relievo himself. With- 
out abandoning wholly the ancient magnificence of 
his court, the Elector has conducted his affairs with 
infinitely more economy than any of his predeces- 
sors, so IS to restore his finances beyond wliat was 
thou.rht possible from tho state in which the Seven 



M 




844 



THOUGHTS ON PBEKCH iPPAIBS. 



!;■ \t: 



!S 




Years' War had left Saxony. Saxony, during the 
whole of that dreadful period, having been in the 
hands of an exasperated enemy, rigorous by resentr 
ment, by nature, and by necessity, was obliged to 
bear in a manner the whole burden of the war ; in 
the intervals when their allies prevailed, the inhabit- 
ants of that country were not better treated. 

The moderation and prudence of the present Elec- 
tor, »n my opinion, rather, perhaps, respites the trou- 
bles than secures the peace of tlie Electorate. The 
offer of the succession to the crown of P'^land is 
truly critical, whetlier he accepts or whether he de- 
clines it. If the States will consent to his accept- 
ance, it will add to the difficulties, already great, c i 
his situation between the king of Prussia and iln/ 
Emperor. — But these thoughts lead me too far, when 
I mean to speak oniy of the interior condition of these 
princes. It has always, however, some necessary con- 
nection with their foreign politics. 

With regard to Holland, and the ruling 
party there, I do not think it at all taii.tcl, 
cr likely to be so, except by fear, — or that it is likely 
to be misled, unless hidirectly and circuitously. But 
.'1\e predominant party in Holland is not UoUaud. 
The suppressed faction, though suppressed, exists. 
Under the ashes, the embers of the late commotions 
are still warm. Tho anti-Orange party has Ironi the 
day of its origin been French, though alienated in 
some degree for some time, through the pride and 
folly of Louis the Fourteenth. It will ever hanker 
after a French connection; and now that the inter- 
nal government in France has been assimilated in so 
considerable a degree to that which the immciderate 
republicans began do very lately to introduce into 



HoUftDd. 



V!l- . } t 4 



I. 



^^^.m 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIBS. 



845 



I 



Holland, their connection, as still more natural, will 
be more desired. I do not well understand the pres- 
ent exterior politics of the Sudtholder, nor the treaty 
into which the newspapers say he has entered for the 
States with the Emperor. But the Emperor's own 
politics with regard to the Netherlands seem to mo 
to be exactly calculated to answer the purpose of the 
French Revolutionists. He endeavors to crush the 
aristocratic party, and to nourish one in avowed 
connection with the most furious democratists in 

France. 

These Provinces in which the French game is so 
well played they consider as part of the old French 
Empire : certainly they were amongst the oldest parts 
of it. These they think very well situated, as their 
party is well disposed to a reunion. As to the 
greater nations, they do not aim at making a direct 
conquest of them, hut, by disturbing tliem through a 
propagation of their principles, they hope to weaken, 
as they will weaken them, and to keep them i'l per- 
petual alarm and agitation, and thus render all their 
eforts against them utterly impracticable, whilst they 
extend the dominion of their sovereign anarcliy on all 

sides. 

As to England, there may be some appro- ^^^^^ 
hension from vicinity, from constant commu- 
nication, and from the very name of liberty, which, 
as it ought to be very dear to us, in its worst abuses 
carries something seductive. It is the abuse of the 
first and best of the objects which we cherisli. 1 
know that many, who sufficiently dislike the t-ystem 
of Prance, have yet no apprehensions of its prevalence 
here. I say nothing to the ground of this security 
in the attachment of the people to their Coiibtitution, 



IM. 




846 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIBS. 



aud their satibfaction in the discreet portiou of Ubort; 
which it measures out to theui. Upon this 1 have 
said all I have to say, in the Appeal I have published. 
That security is something, and not inconsiderable ; 
but if a storm arises, I should not much rely upon it. 
Objection Tlicro aro other views of things which 

to tta« (ta- /.I 

wutjr of may be used to give us a perfect (thuugli 
syitem. jn my Qpiuion a delusive) assurance of our 
own security. The first of these is from the weak- 
ness and rickety nature of the new system in tlie 
place of its first formation. It is thought that the 
monster of a commonwealth cannot possibly live,— 
that at any rate the ill contrivaucn of their fabric will 
make it fall in pieces of itself, — that the Assemitly 
must be bankrupt, — and that this bankruptcy will 
totally destroy that system from the contagion of 
which apprehensions are entertained. 

For my part I have long thought that one great 
cause of the stability of this wretched scheme of 
things in France was an opinion that it could not 
stand, and therefore that all external measures to 
destroy it were wholly useless. 

As to the bankruptcy ., that event has hap- 
an rnptty. ^^^^^j j^^^g ^g^^ ^g much as it 'j -Vcr likely 

to happen. As soon as a nation coii.iiel a creditor 
to take paper currency in discharge ui his debt, there 
is a bankruptcy. The compulsory paper has in some 
degree answered, — not because there was a surplus 
from Church lands, but because faith has not been 
kept with the clergy. As to the holo'ers of the old 
funds, to them the payments will be dilatory, but 
they will be made ; and whatever may be the dis- 
count on paper, whilst paper is taken, paper will be 
issued. 



THOUGHTS OH FBENCH A'TAIBS. 



347 



B«taai«M. 



As to the rest, they have shot out three 
brauches of revenue to supply all those 
which they have destroyed: that is, the Universal 
Regiiter of all Transactions, the heavy and universal 
Stamp Duty, and the new Territorial Impost, levied 
chiefly ou the reduced estates of the gentlemen. 
These branches of the revenue, especially as they 
tike assignats in payment, answer their purpose in 
a considerable degree, and keep up the credit of their 
paper : for, as they receive it in their treasury, it is 
ill reality funded upon all their taxes and future re- 
sources of all kinds, as well as upon the Church es- 
tates. As this paper is become in a manner the only 
visible maintenance of the whole people, the dread 
of a bankruptcy is more apparently connected with 
the delay of a counter-revolution than with the dura- 
tion of this republic ; because the interest of the 
new republic manifestly leans upon it, and, in my 
opinion, the couuter-rc\ olution cannot exist along 
with it. The above three projects ruined some min- 
isters under the old government, merely for having 
conceived them. They are the salvation of the pres- 
ent rulers. 

As the Assembly has laid a most unsparing and 
cruel hand on all men who have lived by the boim- 
ty, the ju.^ticc, or the abuses of the old government, 
they l;avo lessened many expenses. The royal estab- 
lii-hment, though excessively and ridiculously great 
for their scheme of things, is reduced at least one 
half; the estates of the king's brotiicrs, which under 
the ancient government had i.een in truth royal rev- 
enues, go to the general stock of the confiscation; 
and as to the crown lands, though under the mon- 
archy they never yielded two hundred and fifty 






tu 



MKaocorr ttsoiUTiON tbt chabt 

(ANSI ond ISO TEST CHART No. 2) 




A APPLIED IM/EE I 

^R 1553 East Moin StrMt 

^S Rochester. New York 14609 USA 

,^S (716) 482 -0300- Phon. 

^E (716) 288-5989 -Fax 





848 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIRS. 



thousand a year, by many they are thought at least 
worth three times a!i much. 

As to the ecclesiastical charge, whether as a com- 
pensation for losses, or a provision for religion, of 
which they made at first a great parade, and entered 
into a solemn engagement in favor of it, it was esti- 
mated at a much larger sum than they could expect 
from the Church property, movable or immovable: 
they are completely bankrupt as to that article. It 
is just what they wish ; and it is not productive of 
any serious inconvenience. The non-payment pro- 
duces discontent and occasional sedition ; but is only 
by fits and spasms, and amongst the country people, 
who are of no consequence. These seditions fur- 
nish new pretexts for non-payment to the Church 
establishment, and help the Assembly wholly to 
get rid of the clergy, and indeed of any form of 
religion, which is not only their real, but avowed 

object. 

Want of Tliey are embarrassed, indeed , in the high- 

Swued?" est degree, but not wholly resourceless. 
They are without the species of money. Circula- 
tion of money is a great convenience, but a substi- 
tute for it may be found. Whilst the great objects 
of production and consumption, corn, cattle, wine, 
and the like, exist in a country, the means of giving 
them circulation, with more or less convenience, can- 
not be wholly wanting. The great confiscation of the 
Church and of the crown lands, and of the appa- 
nages of the princes, for the purchase of all which 
their paper is always received at par, gives means of 
continually destroying and continually creating ; and 
this perpetual destruction and renovation feeds the 
speculative market, and prevents, and will prevent, 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIRS. 



349 



till that fund of confiscation begins to fail, a toted 
depreciation. 

But all consideration of public credit in Moneyed to- 
France is of little avail at present. The uece»ary 
action, indeed, of the moneyed interest was 
of absolute necessity at the beginning of ihis Revolu- 
tion ; but the French republic can stand without any 
assistance from that description of men, which, as 
things are now circumstanced, rather stands in need 
of assistance itself from the power which alone sub- 
stantially exists in France : I mean the several dis- 
tricts and municipal republics, and the several clubs 
which direct all their affairs and appoint all their 
magistrates. This is the power now paramount to 
everything, even to the Assembly itself called Na- 
tional and that to which tribunals, priesthood, laws, 
finances, and both descriptions of military power are 
wholly subservient, so far as the military power of 
either description yields obedience to any name of 

authority. 

The world of contingency and political combnia- 
tion is much larger than we are apt to imagine. We 
never can say what may or may not happen, with- 
out a view to all the actual circumstances. Experi- 
ence, upon other data than those, is of all things 
the most delusive. Prudence in new cases can do 
nothing on grounds of retrospect. A constant vigi- 
lance and attention to the train of things as they 
successively emerge, and to act on what they direct, 
are the only sure courses. The physician that let 
blood, and by blood-leiting cured one kind of plague, 
in the next added to its ravages. Tliat power goes 
with property is not universally true, and the idea 
that the operation of it is certain and invariable 
may mislead us very fatally. 



860 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



r 



I 

J. 
-'*'■ 
■J' 



powerjep. Wlioever will take an accurate view of 

vatea from 

property. the stato of thosc republics, and of the com- 
position of the present Assembly deputed by them, 
(in which Assembly there are not quite fifty persons 
possessed of an income amounting to 1001. sterling 
yearly,) must discern clearly, that the political and 
civil power of France is wholly separated from its prop- 
erty of every description, and of course that neither 
the landed nor the moneyed interest possesses tlie 
smallest weight or consideration in the direction of 
any public concern. The whole kingdom is directed 
by the refuse of its chicane, with the aid of the bust- 
ling, presumptuous young clerks of counting-houses 
and shops, and some intermixture of young gentle 
men of the same character in the several towns. The 
rich peasants are bribed with Church lands ; and the 
poorer of that description are, and can be, counted 
for nothing. They may rise in ferocious, ill-directed 
tumults, — but they can only disgrace themselves and 
signalize the triumph of their adversaries. 
Effect of The truly active citizens, that is, the 

above descriptions, are all concerned in 
intrigue respecting the various objects in their lo- 
cal or their general government. The rota, which 
the French have established for their National As- 
sembly, holds out the highest objects of ambition to 
such vast multitudes as in an unexampled measiire 
to widen the bottom of a new species of interest 
merely political, and wholly unconnected with birth 
or property. This scheme of a rota, though it enfee- 
bles the state, considered as one solid body, and 
indeed wholly disables it from acting as such, gives 
a great, an equal, and a diffusive strength t the 
democratic scheme. Seven hundred and fifty peo- 




TH0UQHT8 ON FRENCH AFPAIBS. 



851 



pie, every two years raised to the supreme power, 
has already produced at least fifteen hundred bold, 
acting politicians : a great number for even so great 
a country as France. These men never will quiet- 
ly settle in ordinary occupations, nor submit to any 
scheme which must reduce them to an entirely pri- 
vate condition, or to the exercise of a steady, peace- 
ful, but obscure and unimportant industry. Wlulst 
they sit in the Assembly, they are denied offices of 
trust and profit, — but their short duration makes 
this no restraint: during their probation and ap- 
prenticeship they are all salaried with an income to 
the greatest part of them immense ; and after they 
have passed the novitiate, those who take any sort 
of lead are placed in very lucrative offices, accord- 
ing to their influence and credit, or appoint those 
who divide their profits with them. 

This supply of recruits to the corps of the highest 
civil ambition goes on with a regular progression. 
In very few years it must amount to many thousands. 
These, however, will be as nothing in comparison to 
the multitude of municipal officers, and officers of 
district and department, of all sorts, who have tasted 
of power and profit, and who hunger for the periodi- 
cal return of the meal. To these needy agitators, 
the glory of the state, the general wealth and pros- 
perity of the nation, and the rise or fall of public 
credit are as dreams ; nor have arguments deduced 
from these topics any sort of weight with them. The 
indifference with which the Assembly regards the 
state of their colonies, the only valuable part of the 
French commerce, is a full proof how little they are 
likely to be affected by anything but the selfish game 
of their own ambition, now universally diffused. 





-J 



852 THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIBS. 

imprartie*. It is true, amidst all these turbulent 

biutjr of 

rertBunce. mcans of security to their system, very 
great discontents everywhere prevail. But they only 
produce misery to those who nurse them at home, or 
exile, beggary, and in the end confiscation, to those 
who are so impatient as to remove from them. Each 
municipal republic has a Committee, or something in 
the nature of a Committee of Research. In these petty 
republics the tyraimy is so near its object that it 
becomes instantly acquainted with every act of every 
man. It stifles conspiracy in its very first move- 
ments. Their power is absolute and uncontrollable. 
No stand can be made against it. These republics are 
besides so disconnected, that very little intelligence 
of what happens in them ib to be obtained beyond 
their own bounds, except by the means of their clubs, 
who keep up a constant correspondence, and who give 
what color they please to such facts as they choose 
to communicate out of the track of their correspond- 
ence. They all have some sort of communication, 
just as much or as little as they please, with the 
centre. By this confinement of all communication 
to the ruling faction, any combination, grounded on 
the abr jcs and discontents in one, scarcely can reach 
the other. There is not one man, in any one place, 
to head them. The old government had so much 
abstracted the nobility from the cultivation of pro- 
vincial interest, that no man in France exists, whose 
power, credit, or consequence extends to two dis- 
tricts, or who is capable of uniting them in any 
design, even if any man could assemble ten men 
together without being sure of a speedy lodging 
in a prison. One must not judge of the state of 
France by what has been observed elsewhere. It 




TH000HT3 ON FRENCH AFPAIB8. 



353 



does not in the least resemble any other country. 
Analogical reasoning from history or from recent 
experience in other places is wholly delusive. 

In my opinion, there never was seen so strong a 
government internally as that of the French muni- 
cipalities. If ever any rebellion can arise against 
the present system, it must begin, where the Revo- 
lution which gave birth to it did, at the capital. 
Paris is the only place in which there is the least 
freedom of intercourse. But even there, so many 
servants as any man has, so many spies and irrec- 
oncilable domestic enemies. 

But that place being the chief seat of the oemiemen 
power and intelligence of the ruling iiction, 
and the place of occasional resort for their fiercest 
spirits, even there a revolution is not likely to liave 
anything to feed it. The leaders of the aristocratic 
party have been drawn out of the kingdom by order 
of the princes, on the hopes held out by the Emperor 
and the king of Prussia at Pilnitz; and as to the 
democratic factions in Paris, amongst them there are 
no leaders possessed of an influence for any other 
purpose but that of maintaining the present state of 
things. The moment they are seen to warp, they 
are reduced to nothing. They have no attached ar- 
my, — no party that is at all personal. 

It is not to be imagined, because a political system 
is, under certain aspects, very unwise in its contriv- 
ance, and very mischievous in its effects, that it there- 
fore can liave no long duration. Its very defects may 
tend to its stability, because they are agreeable to its 
nature. Tho very faults in the Constitution of Po- 
land made it last ; tho veto which destroyed all its 
energy preserved its life. What can be conceived so 



VOL. IT. 



23 



854 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



li^.l 



If ■■ 

It Ji 



I'li 



H 




ConeliuloDt. 



monstrous as the republic of Algiers, and that no 
less strange republic of the Mamelukes in Egypt? 
They are of the worst form imaginable, and exercised 
in the worst manner, yet they have existed as a nui- 
sance on the earth for several hundred years. 

From all these considerations, and many 
more that crowd upon me, three conclusions 
have long since arisen in my mind. 

First, that no counter revolution is to be expected 
in France from internal causes solely. 

Secondly, that, the longer the present system exists, 
the greater will be its strength, the greater its power 
to destroy discontents at home, and to resist all for- 
eign attempts in favor of these discontents. 

Thirdly, that, as long as it exists in France, it will 
be the interest of the managers there, and it is in the 
very essence of their plan, to disturb and distract all 
other governments, and their endless succession of 
restless politicians will continually stimulate them to 
new attempts. 

proceedingi Princos arc generally sensible that this is 
defeniiTe ' their commou cause ; and two of them have 
made a public declaration of their opinion 
to this effect. Against this common danger, some 
of them, such as the king of Spain, the kir.g of Sar- 
dinia, and the republic of Bern, are very diligent in 
using defensive measures. 

If they were to guard against an invasion from 
France, the merits of this plan of a merely defensive 
resistance might be supported by plausible topics; 
but as the attack does not operate against these coun- 
tries externally, but by an internal corruption, (a sort 
of dry rot,) they who pursue this merely defent ^e 
plan against a danger which the plan itself suppose* 



m 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFPAIB8. 



855 



to be serious cannot possibly escape it. For it is in 
the nature of all defensive measures to be sharp and 
vigorous under the impressions of the first alarm, and 
to relax by degrees, until at length the danger, by 
not operating instantly, comes to appear as a false 
alarm, — so much so, that the next menacing appear- 
ance will look less formidable, and will be less pro- 
vided against. But to those who are on the offensive 
it is not nece=«- -v t-> bo always alert. Possibly it is 
more their v ) to be so. For their unfore- 

seen attacks. ^ t to their success. 

In the me systeti of French con- ^«y'«°«»' 

spiracy is gaiuni^ groun m every country. compo.ed. 
This system, happening to be founded on principles 
the most delusive indeed, but the most flattering to 
the natural propensities of the unthinking multitude, 
and to the speculations of all those who think, with- 
out thinking very profoundly, must daily extend its 
influence. A predominant inclination towards it ap- 
pears in all those who have no religion, when other- 
wise their disposition leads them to be advocates even 
for despotism. Hence Hume, though I cannot say 
that he does not throw out some expressions of disap- 
probation on the proceedings of the levellers in the 
reign of Richard the Second, yet affirms that the doc- 
trines of John Ball were " conformable to the ideas 
of primitive equality which are engraven in the hearts 

of all men." 

Boldness formerly was not the character of athe- 
ists as such. They were even of a character nearly 
the reverse ; they were formerly like the old Epicure- 
ans, rather an unenterpris" ig race. But of late they 
are grown active, designing, turbulent, and seditious. 
They are sworn enemies to kings, nobility, and priest- 



,1 




w\ 



i II 



H 



til! ' S 



mi 



I 

i, 

■m 

J-' 



i|- 



'i^ , 



856 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH APPAIB9. 



CODdOf06Ct 



hood. We Imve seen all the Academicians at Fdris, 
with Coudorcet, the friend and correspondent of 
Priestley, at their head, the most furious of the ex- 
travagant republicans. 

The late Assembly, after the last captivity 

of the king, had actually chosen this Condor- 
cet, by a majority on the ballot, for preceptor to the 
Dauphin, who was to be taken out of tlie hands and 
direction of his parents, and to be delivered over to 
this fanatic atheist and furious democratic republican. 
His untractability to these leaders, and his figure in 
the club of Jacobins, which at that time tlicy wished 
to bring under, alone prevented that part of the ar- 
rangement, and others in the same style, from being 
carried into execution. Whilst he was candidate for 
this office, he produced his title to it by promulgating 
the following ideas of the title of his royal pupil to 
the crown. In a paper written by him, and published 
with his name, against the reestablishmcnt even of 
the appearance of monarchy under any qualifications, 
he says : — 

" Jusqu'a ce moment, ils [ I'Assembl^e Nationale] 
n'ont rien pr6jug^ encore. En se r^servant de nom- 
mer un gouvemeur au Dauphin, ils n'ont pas pro- 
Doctrine or noucd que cet enfant d&t regner, niais seule- 

mcnt qu'il itait possihle que la Constitution 
I'y destinat; ils ont voulu que I'Mucation effa9at 
tout ce que les prestiges du tr6ne ont pu lui inspirer 
de prdjug^s sur les droits prdtendus de sa naissance ; 
qu'eile lui fit connattre de bonne heure et V^galitS 
naturelle des hommea et la souverainete du peuple; 
qu'eile lui apprit i ne pas oublier que c'est du peuple 
qu'il tiendra le titre de Roi, et que le peuple rCa pat 
mime le droit de rmoncer d celui de Ven depoidller. 



a H 



THOTJOHTa ON raENCS AFPAIM. 



357 



" Us ont voulu que cette Education lo rendit <Sgale- 
ment fligne, par sos lumiSres et ses vertus, de rece- 
vo'r avec riaignation le fardeau dangereux d'uno cou- 
ronne, ou de la dSposer avec joie entre les mains de 
ses fr^res ; qu'il sentJt que lo devoir et la gloire du 
roi d'un peuple libre sont de h&ter le moment de 
n'^tre plus qu'un citoyen ordinaire. 

" Vis ont voulu que Vinutiliti ctun roi, la n^cessitC- 
de chercher les moy le rem placer un pouvoirfondS 
jur des illmim», fut u. des premidres v^rit<is offertcs 
i sa raison ; V obligation uy concourir lui-meme, un dea 
premiei-8 devoira de aa morale; et le dSair de n'ctre 
plua affranchi du joug de la hi par une iiyurieme 
inviolabilitS, le premier aentiment de aon coeur. lis 
u'ignorent pas que dans ce moment il s'agit bien 
moins do former un roi que de lui apprendre a aor 
voir a vouhir ne plua VStre." * 

Such are the sentiments of the man who has oc- 
casionally filled the chair of the N-'iional Assembly, 
who is their perpetual secretary, i..eir only standing 
officer, and the most important by far. He leads 
them to peace or war. He is the great thi.me of the 
republican faction in England. These ideas of M. 
Condorcet are the principles of those to whom kings 

• " Until now, they [the Natio.al Assembly] have prejudged noth- 
ing. Reserving to themselves a right to appoint a preceptor to the 
Dauphin, they did not declare that this chUd woi to reign, bat only 
that possiVy the Constitution myht destine him to it : they willed, 
that, while education should efface from his mind all the prejudices 
arising from Me ddusions of the throne respecting his pretended birth- 
right, it should also teach him not to forget that it is from the peofU 
he it to receive the title of King, and that the people do not even poneu 
the right of giving up their poicer to take it from Mm. 

" They willed that this educAtion should render him worthy, by his 
knowledge and by his ^•irtues, both to receive teith submission the dan- 




:i 




Ml ^U 



J 




868 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIBS. 



are to intrust their successors and the interests of 
tlieir Bticcession. Tliis man would bo ready to plunge 
the poniard in the heart of his pupil, or to whet the 
axe for his neck. Of all men, the most dangerous 
is a warm, hot-headed, zealous atheist. This sort of 
man aims at dominion, and his means are the words 
he always has in his mouth, — "L'^galitS naturelle 
de» hommea, et la iouveravnetS du peuple." 

All former attempts, grounded on these rights of 
men, had proved unfortunate. The success of this 
last makes a mighty difference in the effect of tlie 
doctrine. Here is a principle of a nature to the mul- 
titude the most seductive, tdways existing before their 
eyes as a thing feasible in practice. After so many 
failures, such an enterprise, previous to the Frencli 
experiment, carried ru?a t- the contrivers, on the 
face of it ; and if any v,. .unast was so wild as to 
wish to engage in a scheme of that nature, it was not 
easy for him to find followers : now there is a party 
alrnost in all countries, ready-made, animated with 
success, with a sure ally in the very centre of Eu- 
rope. There is no cabal so obscure in any place, that 
they do not protect, cherish, foster, and endeavor to 

gerons burden of a crown, and to resign it with pleasure into the hands 
of his brethren ; that he should be conscious th"t the hastening ot 
that moment when he is to be only a common citizen constitutes the 
duty and the glory of a king of a free people. 

" They willed that Me uaekssnest of a king, the necessity of seeking 
means to establish something in lieu of a pouxr founded on illusiom, 
should be one of the first truths offered to his reason ; the oUigalion 
ofconfnrminghiinsdfto this, the Jint of hit moral duties; and the desire 
ofmlottgsr being freed from the yoke of the law by an injurious inviotti- 
bilily, t)ie first and chief sentiment of his heart. Ihey are not ignorant 
that in the present 'noment the object is less to form a king than to 
teanh hii' that I Id know how to wish no longer to be such." 



^-'-«»3«W^ 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH Atf^'Jii. 



859 



raise it iuto importance at home and tthroad. From 
tba lowest, tliis intrigue will creep up to tlu highest. 
Ambition, as well as enthusiasm, may find its ac- 
count in the party and in the principle. 

The ministers of other kings, like tliose ch»™jtjr^ 
of the king of France, (not one of wliom 
was perfectly free from tliia guilt, and some of whom 
were very deep in it,) may themselves he the persons 
to foment such a disposition and such a faction. 
Hertzherg, the king of Prussia's late minister, is so 
much of what is called a philosopher, that he was of 
a faction with that sort of politicians in everything, 
and in every place. Even when he defends hi . ^If 
from the imputation of giving extravagantly .0 
these principles, he still considers the Revolution of 
France as a great public good, by giving credit to 
their fraudulent declaration of tiieir universal benev- 
olence and love of peace. Nor are his Prussian Maj- 
esty's present ministers at all disinclined to the same 
system. Their ostentatious preamble to certain late 
edicts demonstrates (if their actions had not been 
sufficiently explanatory of their cast of mind) that 
they are deeply infected with the same distemper of 
dangerous, liecause plau:.ible, though trivial and shal- 
low, speculation. 

Ministers, turning their backs o the reputation 
which properly belongs to them, aspire at the glory 
of being speculative writers. The duties of these two 
situations are in general directly opposite to each 
other. Speculators ought to be neutral. A minister 
cannot be so. He is to support the interest of the 
public as connected with that of his master. He is 
his master's trustee, advocate, attorney, and steward, 
— and he is not to indulge in any speculation which 






r 



jiii 

i 







360 



THOUGHTS ON PBENCH APPAIBS. 



contradicts that character, or even detracts from its 
efficacy. Necker had an extreme thirst for tliis sort 
of glory ; so had others ; and this pursuit of a mis- 
placed and misunderstood reputation was one of the 
causco of the ruin of these ministers, and of their un- 
happy master. The Prussian ministers in foreign 
courts have (at least not long since) talked the most 
democratic language with regard to France, and in 
the most unmanaged terms. 

SlS^M."'"" "^'^^ whole corps diplomatique, with very 
few exceptions, leans that way. What cause 
produces in them a turn of mind which at first one 
would think unnatural to their situation it is not 
impossible to explain. The discussion would, how- 
ever, be somewhat long and somewhat invidious. 
The fact itself is indisputable, however they may 
disguise it to their several courts. This disposition 
is gone to so very great a length in that corps, in 
itself so important, and so important a,s fumishinff the 
intelligence which sways all cabinets, ^hat, if princes 
and states do not very speedily attend with a vigorous 
control to that source of direction and information, 
very serious evils are likely to befall them. 
-Ihdr^Si'.. ^"*' indeed, kings are to guard against 
posiuons. the same sort of dispositions in themselves. 
They are very easily alienated from all the higher 
orders of their subjects, whether civil or military, 
laic or ecclesiastical. It is with persons of condition 
that sovereigns chiefly come into contact. It is from 
them that they generally experience opposition to 
their will. It is with their pride and impracticabil- 
ity that princes are most hurt. It is with their ser- 
vility and baseness that they are most commonly 
disgusted. It is from their humors and cabals tiiat 



nj 



M 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFPAIH8. 



861 



they find their affairs most frequently troubled and 
distracted. But of the common people, in pure mo- 
narchical governments, kings know little or nothing ; 
and therefore being unacquainted with their faults, 
(which are as many as those of the great, and much 
more decisive in their effects, when accompanied with 
power,) kings generally regard them with tenderness 
and favor, and turn their eyes towards that descrip- 
tion of their subjects, particularly when hurt by 
opposition from the higher orders. It was thus that 
the king of France (a perpetual example to all sov- 
ereigns) was rumed. I have it from very sure in- 
formation, (and it was, indeed, obvious enough, from 
the measures which were taken previous to the as- 
sembly of the States and afterwards,) that the king's 
counsellors had filled him with a strong dislike to his 
nobility, his clergy, and the corps of his magistracy. 
They represented to him, that he had tried them 
all severally, in several ways, and found them all 
untractable: that he haa twice called an assembly 
(the Notables) composed of the first men of the cler- 
gy, the nobility, and the magistrates ; that he had 
himself named every one member in those assem- 
blies, and that, though so picked out, he had not, 
in this their collective state, found them more dis- 
posed to a compliance with his will than they had 
been separately ; that there remained for him, with 
the least prospect of advantage to his authority in 
the States-General, which were to be composed of the 
same sorts of men, but not chosen by him, only the 
Tiers Mat : in this alone he could repose any hope 
of extricating himself from his difficulties, and of 
settling him in a clear and permanent authority. 
They represented, (these are the words of one of my 



II 
' i 

1 ■ ■■;: 



■f 



V, 






862 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH APFAIHS. 



informants,) "that the royal authority, compressed 
with the weight of these aristocratic bodies, full of 
ambition and of faction, when once unloaded, would 
rise of itself, and occupy its natural place without 
disturbance or control"; that the common people 
would protect, cherish, and support, instead of crush- 
ing it. " The people " (it was said) *' could enter- 
tain no objects of ambition " ; they were out of the 
road of intrigue and cabal, and could possibly have 
no other view than the support of the mild and par 
rental authority by which they were invested, for 
the first time collectively, with real importance in 
the state, and protected in their peaceable and use- 
ful employments. 

^jf This unfortunate king (not without a 

large share of blame to himself) was de- 
luded to his ruin by a desire to humble and reduce 
his nobility, clergy, and his corporate magistracy: 
not that I suppose he meant wholly to eradicate 
these bodies, in the manner since efiFected by the 
democratic power ; I rather believe that even Neck- 
er's designs did not go to that extent. With his own 
hand, however, Louis the Sixteenth pulled down the 
pillars which upheld his throne ; and this he did, be- 
cause he could not bear the inconveniences which are 
attached to everything human, — because he found 
himself cooped up, and in durance, by those limits 
which Nature prescribes to desire and imagination, 
and was taught to consider as low and degrading 
that mutual dependence which Providence has or- 
dained that all men should have on one another. 
He is not at this minute, perhaps, cured of the dread 
of the power and credit like to be acquired by those 
who would save and rescue him. He leaves those 



N-i^ 



iiBHI 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIB8. 



368 



who suffer in his cause to their fate, — and hopes, by 
various mean, delusive intrigues, in which I am afraid 
he is encouraged from abroad, to regain, among trai- 
tors and regicides, the power he has joined to take 
from his own family, whom he quietly sees proscribed 
before his eyes, and called to answer to the lowest of 
his rebels, as the vilest of all criminals. 

It is to be hoped that the Emperor may ^^^ 
be taught better things by this fatal exam- 
ple. But it is sure that he has advisers who en- 
deavor to fill him with the ideas which have brought 
his brother-in-law to his present situation. Joseph 
the Second was far gone in this philosophy, and some, 
if not most, who serve the Emperor, would kindly ini- 
tiate him mto all the mysteries of this freemasonry. 
They would persuade him to look on the National 
Assembly, not with the hatred of an enemy, but the 
jealousy of a rival. Tliey would make him desirous 
of doing, in his own dominions, by a royal despot- 
ism, what has been done in France by a democratic. 
Rather than abandon such enterprises, they would 
persuade him to a strange alliance between those 
extremes. Their grand object being now, as in his 
brother's time, at any rate to destroy the higher or- 
ders, they think he cannot compass this end, as cer- 
tainly he cannot, without elevating the lower. By 
depresbing the one and by raising the other they 
hope in the first place to increase his treasures and 
his army ; and with these common instruments of 
royal power they flatter him that the democracy, 
which they help m his name to create, will give 
hun but little trouble. In defiance of the freshest 
experience, which might show him that old impossi- 
bilities are become modern probabilities, and that the 



864 



THOUGHTS ON PBENCH APPAIB8. 



r*?- 



!v .1. 



4. 






extent to which evil principles may go, when left to 
their own operation, is beyond the power of calcula- 
tion, they will endeavor to persuade him that such a 
democracy is a thij.g which cannot subsist by itself; 
that in whose ever hands the military command is 
placed, he must be, in the necessary course of affairs, 
sooner or later the master ; and that, being the mas- 
ter of various unconnected countries, he may keep 
them all in order by employing a military force 
which to each of them is foreign. This maxim, too, 
however formerly plausible, will not now hold water. 
This scheme is full of intricacy, and may cause him 
everywhere to lose the hearts of his people. These 
counsellors forget that a corrupted army was the very 
cause of the ruin of his brother-in-law, and that he 
is himself far from secure from a similar corruption. 
Instead of reconciling himself heartily 
and bona fide, according to the most obvious 
rules of policy, to the States of Brabant, d» they are 
constituted, and who in the present state of things 
stand on the same foundation with the monarchy 
itself, and who might have been gained with the 
greatest facility, they have advised him to the most 
unkingly proceeding which, eitlier in a good or in a 
bad light, has ever been attempted. Under a pre- 
text tal'^n from the spirit of the lowest chicane, they 
have counselled him wholly to break the public faith, 
to annul the amnesty, as well as the other conditions 
through wliich he obtained an entrance into the Prov- 
bices of the Netherlands under the guaranty of 
Great Britain and Prussia. He is made to declare 
his adherence to the indemnity in a criminal nse, 
but he is to keep alive in his own name, and to en- 
courage in others, a civil process in the nature of an 



Bnbant 



4 



THOUGHTS ON FEENCH APPAIB8. 



865 



action of damages for what has been suSered during 
the troubles. Whilst he keeps up this hopeful law- 
suit ir view of the damages he may recover against 
individuals, he loses the hearts of a whole people, and 
the vast subsidies which his ancestors had been used 
to receive from them. 
This design once admitted unriddles the ftnperw'i 

O /« 1 Ti conduct 

mystery of the whole conduct of the Em- '"^^^«^ 
peror's ministsrs with regard to France. As 
soon as they saw the life of the king and queen of 
Prance no longer, as they thought, in danger, they 
entirely changed their plan with regard to the 
French naUon. I believe that the chiefs of the 
Revolution (those who led the constituting Assem- 
bly) have contrived, as far as they can do it, to 
give the Emperor satisfaction on this head. He 
keeps a continual tone and posture of menace to 
secure this his only point. But it must be ob- 
served, that he all along grounds his deptrture 
from the engagement ai Pilnitz to the princes on 
the will and actions of the king and the majority of 
the people, without any regard to the natural and 
constitutional orders of the state, or to the opinions 
of the whole House of Bourbon. Though it is man- 
ifestly under the constraint of imprisonment and the 
fear of death that this unhappy man has been giiilty 
of all those humilities which have astonished man- 
kind, the advisers of the Emper.-r wiii consider noth- 
ing but the physical person of Louis, which, even in 
his present degraded and infamous state, tliey regard 
as of suff jient authority to give a complete sanction 
to the persecution and utter ruin of all his family, 
and of every person who has shown any degree of 
attachment or fidelity to mi or to his cause, aa 



r« 



. j -i 



1 




866 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIB8. 



well as competent to destroy the whole ancient con- 
stitution and frame of the French monarchy. 

The present policy, therefore, of the Austrian poll- 
ticians is, to recover despotism through democracy, — 
or, at least, at any expense, everywhere to ruin the 
description of men who are everywhere the objects 
of their settled and systematic aversion, but more 
especially in the Xetherlands. Compare this with 
the Emperor's refusing at first all intercourse with 
the present powers in France, with his endeavoring 
to excite all Europe against them, and then, his not 
only withdrawing all assistance and all countenance 
from the fugitives who had been drawn by his dec- 
larations from their houses, situt.ions, and military 
commissions, r>any even from the means of their 
very existence, but treating them with every species 
of insult and outrage. 

Combining this unexampled conduct in the Emper- 
or's advisers with the timidity (operating as perfi- 
dy) of the king of France, a fatal example is held 
out to all subjects, tending to show what little sup- 
port, or even countenance, they are to expect from 
those for whom their principle of fidelity may induce 
them to risk life and fortune. The Emperor's advis- 
ers would not for the worid rescind one of the acts 
of this or of the late French Assembly; nor do they 
wish anything better at present for their master's 
brother of Franco than that he should really be 
as he IS nominally, at the head of the system of 
persecution of religion and good order, and of all 
descnptions of dignity, natural and instituted: they 
only wish all this done with a little more respect 
to the king's person, and with more appearance of 
consideration for his new subordinate office,— in 



THOUGHTS OK FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



367 



hopes, that, yielding himself for the present to the 
persons who have effected these changes, he may 
be able to game for the rest hereafter. On no 
other principles than these can the conduct of the 
court of Vienna be accounted for. The subordi- 
nate court of Brussels talks the language of i club 
of Peuillants and Jacobins. 

In this state of general rottenness among «^^ 
subjects, and of delusion and false politics 
in princes, comes a new experiment. The king of 
France is in the hands of the chiefs of the regicide 
faction,— the Barnaves, Lameths, Fayettes, P6rigords, 
Duports, Robespierres, Camuses, Ac, <fec., &c. They 
who had imprisoned, suspended, and conditionally de- 
posed him are his confidential counsellors. The next 
desperate of the desperate rebels call themselves the 
moderate party. They are the chiefs of the first As- 
sembly, who are confederated to support their pow- 
er during their suspension from the present, and to 
govern the existent body with as sovereign a sway 
as they had done the last. They have, for the great- 
er part, succeeded ; and they have many advantages 
towards procuring their success in future. Just be- 
fore the close of their regular power, they bestowed 
some appearance of prerogatives on the king, which 
in their first plans they had refused to him, — partic- 
ularly the mischievous, and, in his situation, dreadful 
prerogative of a veto. This prerogative, (which they 
hold as their bit in tho mouth of the National Assem- 
bly for the time being,) without the direct assibtance 
of their club, it was impossible for the king to show 
even the desire of exerting with the smallest effect, 
or even with safety to his person. However, by 
playing, through this veto, the Assembly against the 



f • 






! 



Ill 









\l§ 






868 



THODOHTS ON FBENCH AFPAIB8. 



king, and the king against the Assembly, tliej have 
made themselves masters of both. In this situation, 
having destroyed the old government by tlieir sedi- 
tion, they would preserve as much of order as is ne- 
cessary for the support of their own usurpation. 
Fjj^chyn- It is believed that this, by far the worst 
party of the miscreants of France, has re- 
ceived direct encouragement from the counsellors 
who betray the Emperor. Thus strengthened hy 
the possession of the captive king, (now captive in 
his mind as well as in body,) and by a good hope 
of the Emperor, they intend to send their ministers 
to every court in Europe, — having sent before them 
such a denunciation of terror and superiority to 
every nation without exception as has no example 
in the diplomatic world. Hitlierto the ministers to 
foreign courts had been of the appointment of the 
sovereign of France previous to the Revolution ; and, 
either from inclination, duty, or decorum, most of 
them were contented with a merely passive obedi- 
ence to the new power. At present, the king, being 
entirely in the hands of his jailors, and his mind 
broken to his situation, can send none but the e. 
thusiasts of the system,— men framed by the secrci, 
committee of the Feuillants, who meet in the house 
of Madame de Stael, M. Necker's daughter. Such 
is every man whom they have talked of sending 
hither. These ministers will be so many spies and 
incendiaries, so many active emissaries of democra- 
cy. Their houses will become places of rendezvous 
here, as everywhere else, and centres of cabal for 
whatever is mischievous and malignant in this coun- 
try, particularly among those of rank and fashion. 
As the minister of the National Assembly will be 



i 



Miiiiiiiiiii 



r- 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIRS. 



369 



admitted at this court, at least with his usual rank, 
aiid as entertainmeuts will bo naturally given and 
received by the king's own ministers, any attempt 
to discountenance the resort of other peoi)lo to that 
minister would be ineflfectual, and indeed absurd, 
and full of contradiction. The women who come 
with these ambassadors will assist in fomenting fac- 
tions amongst ours, which cannot fail of extending 
tht evil. Some of them I hear are already arrived. 
There is no doubt they will do as much mischief as 
they can. 

Whilst the public ministers are received connection 
under the general law of the communica- 
tion between nations, the correspondences between 
the factious clubs in France and ours will be, as they 
now are, kept up; but this pretended eml)assy will 
be a closer, more steady, and more effectual link 
between the partisans of the new system on both 
sides of the water. 1 do not mean that these An- 
glo-Gallic clubs in London, Manchester, &c., arc not 
dangerous in a high degree. The appointment of 
festive anniversaries has ever in the sense of man- 
k- d been held the best method of keeping alive the 
spirit of any institution. We have one settled in 
London ; and at the last of them, that of the 14th 
of July, the strong discountenance of government, 
the unfavorable time of the year, and the tlien un- 
certainty of the disposition of foreign powers, did not 
hinder the meeting of at least nine hundred people, 
with good coats on their backs, who could afford to 
pay half a guinea a head to show their zeal for the 
new principles. They were with great difficulty, 
and all possible address, hindered from inviting the 
French ambassador. His real indisposition, besides 

VOL. IV. 84 



tm 



i 



I 




870 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH APFAHW. 



the f(!ar of offending any party, sent him out of town. 
But when our court shall have recognized a govern- 
ment in France founded on the principles atuiounccd 
in Montmorin's letter, how can the French ambassa- 
dor be frowned upon for an attendance on those 
meetings wherein the establishment of the govern- 
ment ho represents is celebrated ? An event hap- 
pened a few days ago, which in many particulars 
was very ridiculous; yet, even from the ridicule 
and absurdity of the proceedings, it maiks the 
more strongly the spirit of the French Assembly: 
I mean the reception they have given to the Fritli 
Street Alliance. This, though the delirium of a low, 
drunken alehouse club, they have publicly announced 
as a formal alliance with the people of Engund, as 
such ordered i* to be presented to their king, and to 
be ptiblished in every province in France. This leads, 
more directly and with much greater force than any 
proceeding with a regular and rational appearance, 
to two very material considerations. First, it shows 
that they are of opinion that the current opinions of 
the English have the greatest influence on the minds 
of the peoplo in France, and indeed of all the people 
in Europe, since they catch with such astonisliiuf: 
eagerness at every the most trifling show of such 
opinions in their favor. Next, and what appears to 
me to be full as important, it shows that they are 
willing publicly to countenance, and even to adopt, 
every factious conspiracy that can be formed in tliis 
nation, however low and base in itself, in order to 
excite in the most miserable wretches here an idea 
of their own sovereign importance, and to encourage 
them to look up to France, whenever they may be ma- 
tured into something of more force, fo, assistance in 



amsmm 



THOUGHTS ON FRENCH AFFAIBS. 



371 



the subversion of their domestic government. This 
address of the alehouse club was actually proposed 
and accepted by the Assembly as an aViance. The 
procedure was in my opinion a high misdemeanor in 
those who acted thus in England, if they were not so 
very low and so very base that no acts of theirs can 
be called high, even as a description of criminality ; 
and the Assembly, in accepting, proclaiming, and 
publishing this forged alliance, has been guilty of 
a plain aggression, which would justify our court in 
demanding a direct disavowal, if our policy should 
not lead us to wink at it. 

Whilst I look over this paper to have it copied, I 
see a me lifesto of the Assembly, as a preliminary 
to a declaration of war a^*ainst the German princes 
on the Rhine. This manifesto contains the whole 
substance of the French politics with regard to for- 
eign states. They have ordered it to be circulated 
amongst the people in every country of Europe, — 
even previously to its acceptance by the king, and 
his new privy council, the club of the Fcuillants. 
Therefore, as a summary of their policy avowed by 
themselves, let us consider some of the circumstan- 
ces attending that piece, as well as the spirit and 
temper of the piece itself. 

It was preceded by a speech from Bris- i>«i»ration 
sot, full of unexampled insolence towards Emperor. 
all the sovereign states of Germany, if not of Eu- 
rope. The Assembly, to express their satisfaction in 
the sentiments which it contained, ordered it to be 
printed. This Brissot had been in the lowest and 
basest employ under the deposed monarchy, — a sort 
of thief-taker, or spy of police, — in which character 
he acted after the manner of persons in that descrip- 




872 



TB0C0HT8 ON FBENCH AFFAIB8. 







:.,i 



? ■> 




tioD. He had been employed by his inastci-, the Litu- 
tenant dt F dice, for a considerable time in London, 
in the same or some such honorable occupation. The 
Revolution, which has brought forward all merit of 
that kind, raised him, with others of a similar class 
and disposition, to fome and eminence. On the Revo- 
lution he became a publisher of an infamous uows- 
papar, which he still continues. He is charged, and 
1 believe justly, as the first mover of the troubles 
in Hispaniola. There is no wickedness, if I am 
rightly informed, in which he is not versed, and of 
wliich he is not perfectly capable. His quality of 
news-writer, now an employment of the first digni- 
ty in France, and his practices and principles, pro- 
cured his election into the Assembly, where he is 
one of the leading members. M. Condorcet pro- 
duced on the same day a draught of a declaration 
to the king, which the Assembly published before it 
was presented. 

Condorcet (though no marquis, as he styled him- 
self before the Revolution) is a man of another sort 
of birth, fashion, and occupation from Brissot, — but 
in every principle, and every disposition to tlie low- 
est as well as the highest and most determined vil- 
lanies, fully his equal. He seconds Brissot in the 
Assembly, anu is at once his coadjutor and his rival 
in a newspaper, which, in his own name, and as suc- 
cessor to M. Garat, a member also of the Assembly, 
he has just set up in that empire of gazettes. Condor- 
cet was chosen to draw the first declaration presented 
by the Assembly to the king, as a threat to the Elec- 
tor of Treves, and the other princes on the Rhine. 
In that piece, in which botli Fcuillants and Jacobins 
concurred, they declared publicly, and mcst proudly 



i^i^MiM 



THOUOHTS ON FBENCH kmiUi. 



378 



and insolently, the principle on which thoy mean to 
proceed in tlioir future disputes with any of the sov- 
erei''"s of Europe ; for they say, " that it is not with 
fire and sword they moan to attack their territories, 
but by what will be more dreac^ful to them, the intro- 
duction of liberty." — I have not the paper by me, 
to give the exact words, but T believe they are nearly 
as I state them. — Dreadful, indeed, will be their 
hostility, if they should bo able to carry it on ac- 
cording to the example of their modes of introduc- 
ing liberty. They have shown a perfect model of 
their whole design, very complete, though m little. 
This gang of murderers and savages have wholly laid 
waste and utterly ruined the beautiful and happy 
country of the Comtat Venaissiu and tlie city of \vi- 
gnon. This cruel and treacherous outrage the sover- 
eigns of Europe, in my opinion, with a great mistalce 
of their honor and intorest, have permitted, even with- 
out a remonstrance, to be carried to the desired point, 
on the principles on which they are now tliemselves 
threatened in their own states; and this, because, 
according to the poor and narrow spirit now in fash- 
ion, their brother sovereign, whose subjects have been 
thus traitorously and inhumanly treated in violation 
of the law of Nature and of nations, has a name some- 
what diflferent from theirs, and, instead of being styled 
King, or Duke, or Landgrave, is usually called Pope. 
The Electors of Treves and Mentz were «ateofth« 
frightened with the menace of a similar 
mode of war. The Assembly, however, not thinking 
that the Electors of Treves and Mentz had done 
enougli under their first terr r, have again brought 
forward Condorcet, preceded byBrissot,as I have just 
stated. The declaration, which they have ordered 



I .fl 









374 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIBS. 



now to be circulated in all countries, is iu substance 
the same as the first, but still more insolent, because 
more full of detail. There they have the impudence 
to state that they aim at no conquest : insinuating 
that all the old, lawful powers of the world had each 
made a constant, open profession of a design of sub- 
duing his neighbors. They add, that, if they are pro- 
voked, their war will be directed only against those 
who assume to be masters; but to the people they 
will bring peace, law, liberty, Ac, &c. There is not 
the least hint that they consider those whom they call 
persons " assuming to he masters " to be the lawful gov- 
ernment of their country, or persons to be treated with 
the least management or respect. They regard them 
as usurpers and enslavers of the people. If I do not 
mistake, they are described by the name of tyrants in 
Condorcet's first draught. I am sure they are so in 
Brissot's speech, ordered by the Assembly to be print- 
ed at the same time and for the same purposes. The 
whole is in the same strain, full of false philosophy 
and false rhetoric, — both, however, calculated to cap- 
tivate and influence the vulgar mind, and to excite se- 
dition in the countries in which it is ordered to be cir- 
culated. Indeed, it is such, that, if any of the lawful, 
acknowledged sovereigns of Europe had publicly or- 
dered such a manifesto to be circulated in the domin- 
ions of another, the ambassador of that power would 
instantly bo ordered to quit every court without an 
audience. 

i°.oKr- '^''® powers of Europe have a pretext for 
eign powers, concoaling their fears, by saying that this 
language is not used by the king ; though they well 
know that there is in effect no such person, — that the 
Assembly is in reality, and by that king is ackuowl- 



r^ 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH AFFAIBB. 



375 



edged to be, the master, — that what he does is but 
matter of formality, — and that he can neither cause 
nor hinder, accelerate nor retard, any measure what- 
soever, nor add to nor soften the manifesto which the 
Assembly has directed to be published, with the de- 
clared purpose of exciting mutiny and rebellion in the 
several comitries governed by these powers. By the 
generality also of the menaces contained in this paper, 
(though infinitely aggravating the outrage,) they hope 
to remove from each power separately the idea of a 
distinct affl:ont. The persons first pointed at by the 
menace are certainly the princes of Germany, who 
harbor the persecuted House of Bourbon and the no- 
bility of France ; the declaration, however, is general, 
and goes to every state with which they may have a 
cause of quarrel. But the terror of France has fallen 
upon all nations. A few months since all sovereigns 
seemed disposed to unite against her ; at present they 
all seem to combine in her favor. At no period has 
the power of France ever appeared with so formidable 
an aspect. In particular the liberties of the Empire 
can have nothing more than an existence the most 
tottering and precarious, whilst France exists with a 
great power of fomenting rebellion, and the greatest 
m the weakest, — but with neither power nor disposi- 
tion to support the smaller states in their indepen- 
dence against the attempts of the more powerful. 

I wind up all in a full conviction within my own 
breast, and the substance of which I must repeat over 
and over again, that the state of France is the first 
consideration in the politics of Europe, and of each 
state, externally as well as internally considered. 

Most of the topics I have used are drawn from fear 
and apprehension. Topics derived from fear or ad- 



J 







J 





* 1 






^1 


■ 


1 


1 




876 



THOUGHTS ON PBENCH APPAIKS. 



dressed to it are, I well know, of doubtful appearance. 
To be sure, hope is in general the incitement to ac- 
tion. Alarm some men, — you do not drive them to 
provide for their security ; you put them to a stand ; 
you induce them, not to take measures to prevent the 
approach of danger, but to remove so unpleasant an 
idea from their minds ; you persuade them to remain 
as they are, from a new fear that their activity may 
bring on the apprehended mischief before its time. I 
confess freely that this evil sometimes happens from 
an overdone precaution ; but it is when the measures 
are rash, ill-chosen, or ill-combined, and the v,iFects 
rather of blind terror than of enlightened foresight. 
But the few to whom I wish to submit my thoughts 
are of a character which will enable them to see dan- 
ger without astonishment, and to provide against it 
without perplexity. 

To what lengths this method of circulating muti- 
nous manifestoes, and of keeping emissaries of sedi- 
tion in every court under the name of ambassadors, 
to propagate the same principles and to follow the 
practices, will go, and how soon they will operate, it 
is hard to say; but go on it will, more or less 
rapidly, according to events, and to the humor of the 
time. The princes menaced with the revolt of their 
subjects, at the same time that they have obsequious- 
ly obeyed the sovereign mandate of the new Roman 
senate, have received with distinction, in a public 
character, ambassadors from those who in the same 
act had circulated the manifesto of sedition in their 
dominions. This was the only thing wanting to the 
degradation and disgrace of tlie Germanic body. 

The ambassadors from the rights of man, and their 
admission into the diplomatic system, I hold to be a 



fj 



THOUGHTS ON FBENCH APFAIBS. 



377 



new era in this business. It will be the most unpor- 
tant step yet taken to affect the existence of sover- 
eigns, and the higher classes of life : 1 do not mean 
to exclude its effects upon all classes ; but the first 
blow is aimed at the more prominent parts in the an- 
cient order of things. 
What is to be done ? 

It would be presumption in me to do more than to 
make a case. Many things occur. But as they, like 
all poUtical measures, depend on dispositions, tem- 
pers, means, and external circumstances, for all their 
effect, not being well assured of these, I do not know 
how to let loose any speculations of mine on the sub- 
ject. The evil is stated, in my opinion, as it exists. 
The remedy must be where power, wisdom, and in- 
formation, I hope, are more united with good inten- 
tions than they can be with me. I have done with 
this subject, I believe, forever. It has given me 
many anxious moments for the two last years. If a 
great change is to be made iu human affairs, the 
minds of men will be fitted to it, the general opin- 
ions and feelings will draw that way. Every fear, 
every hope, will forward it ; and then they who per- 
sist in opposing this mighty current iu human affairs 
will appear rather to resist the decrees of Providence 
itself than the mere designs of men. Tliey will not 
be resolute and firm, but perverse and obstinate. 



i-fi 





'■ •*" 



HEADS FOR CONSIDERATION 



OM THB 



PRESENT STATE OP APFAi^lS. 



^nOTTBN IN HOVEMBKR, 1792. 



J'i 



mK 




II 



if 



I 




i. 

■J 



miKSs^a 



HEADS FOE CONSIDERATION. 



^?! 



THAT France by its mere geographical position, 
independently of every other circumstance, must 
affect every state of Europe : some of them immedi- 
ately, all of them through mediums not very remote. 
That the standing policy of this kingdom ever has 
been to watch over the external proceedings of France, 
(whatever form the interior government of that king- 
dom might take,) and to prevent the extension of its 
dominion or its ruling influence over other states. 

That there is nothing in the present internal state 
of things in France which alters the national policy 
with regard to the exterior relations of that country. 
That there are, on the contrary, many things in 
the internal circumstances of France (and perhaps of 
this country, too) which tend to fortify the principles 
of that fundamental policy, and which render the 
active assertion of those principles more pressing at 
this than at any former time. 

That, by a change effected in about three weeks, 
France has been able to penetrate into the heart of 
Germany, to make an absolute conques. of Savoy, 
to menace an immediate invasion of the Netherlands, 
and to awe and overbear the whole Helvetic body, 
which is in a most perilous situation: the great 
aristocratic Cantons having, perhaps, as much or 
more to dread from their own people, whom they 




882 









J 

^4. 



I 



Msil 



HEADS FOB CONSIDEBATTOX. 



arm, but do not choose or daie to employ, as froiii 
the foreign enemy, which against all public faith bas 
butchered their troops serving by treaty in France. 
To this picture it is hardly necessary to add the 
means by wliich France has been enabled to effect all 
this, — namely, the apparently entire destruction of 
one of the largest and certainly the highest disci- 
plined and best appointed army ever seen, headed by 
the first military sovereign in Europe, with a captain 
under him of the greatest renown ; and that without 
a blow given or received on any side. This state of 
things seems to me, even if it went no further, truly 
serious. 

Circumstances have enabled France to do all this 
by land. On the other element she has begun to ex- 
ert herself; and she must succeed in her designs, if 
enemies very different from those she has hitherto 
had to encounter do not resist her. 

She has fitted out a naval force, now actually at 
sea, by which she is enabled to give law to tlie whole 
Mediterranean. It is known as a fact, (and if }iot so 
known, it is in the nature of things highly probable,) 
that she proposes the ravage of the Ecclesiastical 
Sta*o and the pillage of Rome, as her first object; 
that next she means to bombard Naples, — to awe, to 
humble, and thus to command, all Italy, — to force 
it to a nominal neutrality, but to a real dependence, 
— to compel the Italian princes and republics to ad- 
mit the free entrance of the French commerce, an 
open intercourse, and, the sure concomitant of that 
intercourse, the affiliated societies, in a manner simi- 
lir to those she has established at Avignon, the Com- 
tat, Chamb^ry, London, Manchester, Ac, &c., which 
are so many colonies planted in all these countries. 




ON THE PBESENT STATE OP AFFAIB8. 



888 



for extending the influence and securing the domin- 
ion of the French republic. 

That there never has been hitherto a period in 
which this kingdom would have suffered a French 
fleet to domineer in the Mediterranean, and to force 
Italy to submit to such ♦'?rms as France would think 
fit to impose, — to say nothing of what has been done 
upon land in support of the same system. Tlie great 
object for which we preserved Minorca, wliilst we 
could keep it, and for wl.ich we still retain Gibraltar, 
both at a great expense, was, and is, to prevent the 
predominance of France over the Mediterranean. 

Thus far as to the certain and immediate effect of 
that armament upon the Italian States. The prob- 
able effect which that armament, and the other ar 
maments preparing at Toulon and other ports, may 
have upon Spain, on the side of the Mediterranean, is 
worthy of the serious attention of the British coun- 
cils. 

That it is most probable, we may say in a manner 
certain, that, if there should be a nipturc between 
France and Spain, France will not confine her offen- 
sive piratical operations against Spain to her efforts 
in the Mediterranean ; on which ride, however, she 
may grievously affect Spain, especially if she excites 
Morocco and Algiers, which undoubtedly she will, to 
fall upon that power. 

That she will iit out armaments upon the ocean, 
by which the flota itself may be intercepted, and thus 
the treasures of all Europe, as well as the largest and 
surest resources of tlie Spanish monarchy, may be 
conveyed into France, and become powerful instru- 
ments for the annoyance of all her neighbors. 
That she makes no secret of her designs. 



M 



ifa 




884 



HEADS FOB CONSIDERATION 




i 



-I 




That, if the inward and outward bound flota should 
escape, still France has more and better means of dis- 
severing many of the provinces in tl>e West and East 
Indies from the state of Spain than Holland had, 
when slie siicceeded in the same attempt. Tlio 
French marine resembles not a little the old arma- 
ments of the Flibustiers, which about a century baclc, 
in conjunction with pirates of our nation, brouglit 
such calamities upon the Spanish colonies. They 
diflfer only in this, — that the present piratical force 
is out of all measure and comparison greater: one 
hundred and fifty ships of the line and frigates 
being ready-built, most of them in a manner new, 
and all applicable in different ways to that service. 
Privateers and Moorish corsairs possess not the best 
seamanship, and very little discipline, and indeed 
can make no figure in regular service ; but in des- 
perate adventures, and animated with a lust of plun- 
der, they are truly formidable. 

That tlie land forces of France are well adapted to 
concur with their marine in conjunct expeditions of 
this nature. In such expeditions, enterprise supplies 
the want of discipline, and perhaps more than sup- 
plies it. Both for this, and for other service, (liow- 
ever contemptible their military is in other respects,) 
one arm is extremely good, the engineering and ar- 
tillery branch. The old officer corps in both being 
composed for the great'*'' part of those who were not 
gentlemen, or gentlemen newly such, few have aban- 
doned the service, and the men are veterans, well 
enough disciplined, and very expert. In this pirat- 
ical way they miist make war with good advantage. 
They must do so, even on the side of Flanders, either 
ofifensively or defensively This shows the differencoi 



ON THE PRLSENT STATE OP AFFAIRS. 



SSf) 



between the policy of Louip the Fourtt-onth, who 
built a wall of brass about his kingdom, and that 
of Joseph the Second, wlio preraeditatedly uncovered 
his whole frontier. 

That Spain, from the actual and expected prev- 
alence of French power, is in a most perilous situ- 
ation, — perfectly dependent on the morcy of that 
republic. If Austria is broken, or even humbled, 
she will not dare to dispute its mandates. 

In the present state of things, we have nothing at 
all to dread from the power of Spain by sea or by 
land, or from any rivalry in commerce. 

Tliat we have much to dread from the connections 
into which Spain may bo forced. 

Prom the circumstances of her territorial posses- 
sions, of her resources, and the whole of her civil 
and political state, we may be authorized safely and 
with undoubted confidence to affirm that 

Spain is not a svbuiintive power. 

That she must lean on France or on England. 

That it is as much for the interest of Great Britain 
to prevent the predominancy of a French interest in 
that kingdom as if Spain were a province of the 
crown of Great Britain, or a state actually dependent 
on it, — full as much so as ever Portugal was reputed 
to be. This is a dependency of much greater value ; 
and its destruction, or its being carried to any other 
dependency, of much mo serious misfortune. 

One of these two things must happen : either Spain 
must submit to circumstances and take such condi- 
tions as France will impose, or she must engage in 
hostilities along with the Emperor and tlie king of 
Sardinia. 

If Spain should be forced or awed into a treaty 



VOL. IV. 



25 



■fl^aj- ' UJifH 



T«l 




886 



BEADS von CONSIDERATION 



mm 



■I 




with the republic of France, she must open her ports 
and her commerce, as well as the land communica- 
tion for the French laborers, who were accustomod 
annu'-iUy to gather in the harvcxt in Spain. Indeed, 
she must grant a free communication for travolli-i;) 
and traders through her whole country. In tiiat 
case it is not conjectural, it is certain, the clubs will 
give law in the provinces ; Bourgoing, or some m>:\\ 
miscreant, will give law at Madrid. 

In this England may acquiesce, if she pleases ; and 
Franco will conclude a triumphant peace with Spain 
ujider her absolute dependence, with a broad highway 
into that, and into every state of Europe. She ac- 
• ■*- Mwites Great Britain to divide with her the 
he New World, and to make a partition of 
th monarchy. Clearly, it is better to do so 

than .,. Franco to possess those spoils and tliat 

territory alone ; which, without doubt, unresisted by 
us, she is altogether as able as she is willing to do. 

This plan is proposed by the French in the way in 
which they propose all their plans, — and in the only 
way in which, indeed, they can propose them, where 
there is no regular communication between his Alaj- 
esty and their republic. 

What they propose is a plan. It is a plan also to 
resist their predatory project. To remain quiet, and 
to suffer them to make their own use of a naval pow- 
er before our face, so as to awe and bully Spain into 
a submissive peace, or to drive them into a ruinous 
war, without any measure on our part, I fear is no 
plan at all. 

However, if the plan of cooperation which France 
desires, and which her affiliated societies here ardent- 
ly wish and aie constantly writing up, should not 



ON THE PnBSENT STATE OF AFPAinS. 



887 



bo adopted, and tlio war between tbo Emperor and 
France shoxild continue, I think it not at all likely 
that Spain should not be drawn into the qufirrol. In 
that case, the neutrality of England will be a thing 
absolutely impossible. The time only is the subject 
of deliberation. 

Then the question will be, whether we are to defer 
putting ourselves into a posture for the common de- 
fence, either by armament, or negotiation, or both, 
until Spain is actually attacked, — tliat is, whether 
our court will take a decided part for Spain, whilst 
Spain, on her side, is yet in a condition to act with 
whatever degree of vigor she may have, whilst that 
vigor is yet ui, exhausted, — or whether we shall con- 
nect ourselves with her broken fortunes, after she shall 
have received material blows, and when wo shall have 
the whole slow length of that always unwieldy and ill- 
constructed, and then wuu .ded and crippled body, to 
drag after us, rather than to aid us. Wliilst our dis- 
position is uncertain, Spain will not dare to put her- 
self in such a state of defence as will make her hos- 
tility formidable or her neutrality respectable. 

If the decision is such as the solution of this ques- 
tion (I take it to be the true question) conducts to, 
no time is to be lost. But the measures, though 
prompt, ought not to be rash and indigested. Tiicy 
ought to be well chosen, well combined, and well 
pursued. Tlie system must be general ; but it must 
be executed, not successively, or with interruption, 
but all together, uno flatu, in one melting, and one 
mould. 

For this purpose we must pi . Europe before us, 
which plainly is, just now, in all its parts, in a state 
of dismay, derangement, and confusion, and, very 



T^TTTW^^F'^WL 




888 



HEADS FOB CONSIDERATION 



f-i^f 




,i 


> 


1 "i 


1, 


i ' 


.-*, 




j: 




,-»* 


r 


"•■i 



possibly amongst all its sovereigns, full of secret heart- 
burning, distrust, and mutual accusation. Perhaps 
it may labor under worse evils. There is no vigor 
anywhere, except the distempered vigor and energy 
of France. That country has but too much life in it, 
when everything around is so disposed to tameness 
and languor. The very vices of the French system at 
home tend to give force to foreign exertions. The 
generals must join the armies. They must lead them 
to enterprise, or tliey are likely to perish by their 
hands. Thus, without law or government of her 
own, France gives law to all the governments in Eu- 
rope. 

This great mass of political matter must have been 
always under the view of thinkers for the public, 
wliether they act in office or not. Amongst events, 
oven the late calamitous events were in tlie book of 
contingency. Of course they must have been in de- 
sign, at least, provided for. A plan which takes in 
as many as possible of the states concerned will ratli- 
er tend to facilitate and simplify a rational scheme 
for preserving Spain (if that were our sole, as I think 
it ought to be our principal object) than to delay and 
perplex it. 

If we sliould think that a provident policy (per- 
haps now more than provident, ixrgent and necessary) 
should lead us to act, we cannot take measures as 
if nothing had been done. We must see the faults, 
if any, which have conducted to the present misfor- 
tunes: not for the sake of criticism, military or po- 
litical, or from the common motives of blaming per- 
sons and counsels which have not been successful; 
but in order, if we can, to administer some remedy 
to these disasters, by the adoption of plans more bot- 



ON THE PRESENT STATE OP AFPAIB8. 



889 



fl 



tomed in principle, and built on with more discretion. 
Mistakes may be lessons. 

Tliere seem, indeed, to have been several mistakes 
in the political principles on which the war was en- 
tered into, as well as in the plans upon which it was 
conducted,— some of them very fundamental, and not 
only visibly, but I may say palpably erroneous; and 
I think him to have less than the discernment of a 
very ordinary statesman, who could not foresee, from 
the very beginning, unpleasant consequences from 
those plans, though not the unparalleled disgraces 
and disasters which really did attend them: for they 
were, both principles and measures, wholly new and 
out of the common course, without anything appar- 
ently very grand in the conception to justify this to- 
tal departure from all rule. 

For, in the first place, the united sovereigns very 
much injured their cause by admitting that they 
had nothing to do with the interior arrangements of 
France. — in contradiction to the whole tenor of the 
public law of Europe, and to the correspondent prac- 
tice of all its states, from the time wo have any his- 
tory of them. In this particular, the two German 
courts seem to have as little consulted the publicists 
of Germany as their own true interests, and those of 
all the sovereigns of Germany and Europe. This 
admission of a false principle in the law of nations 
brou<rht them into an apparent contradiction, when 
they Insisted on the rcestablishment of the royal au- 
thority in France. But this confused and contradicto- 
ry proceeding gave rise to a practical error of worse 
consequence. It was derived from one and the same 
root • namely, that the person of the monarch of France 
was everything; and the monarchy, and the intormo- 



m 



890 



HEADS FOR CONSIDERATION 




J« 



f 



diate orders of the state, by wliicli tlie monarchy was 
upheld, were nothing. So that, if the united {)u- 
tentates had succeeded so far as to reestablish tlio 
authority of that king, and that he should be so ill- 
advised as to conPiii all the confiscations, and to rec- 
ognize as a lawful ! -dy and to class himself with tliat 
rabble of raurde»e; (and thure wanted not persons 
who would so have advised him,) there was nothing 
in the principle or in the proceeding of the united 
powers to prevent such an arrangement. 

An expedition to fi-ee a brother sovereign from 
prison was undoubtedly a generous and chivalrous 
undertaking. But tlie spirit and generosity would 
not have been less, if the policy had been more pro- 
found and more comprehensive, — that is, if it had 
taken in those considerations and those persons by 
whom, and, in some measure, for whom, monarchy 
exists. This would become a bottom for a system 
of solid and permanent policy, and of operations con- 
formable to that system. 

The same fruitful error was the cause why nothing 
was done to impress the peoj)lo of France (so far as 
we can at all consider the inhabitants of France as a 
people) with an idea that the government was ever 
to be really French, or indeed anything else than the 
nominal government of a monarch, a monarch abso- 
lute as over them, but whose sole support was to arise 
from foreign potentates, and who was to be kept on 
his throne by German forces, — in short, that the 
king of France was to be a viceroy to the En-pcror 
and the king of Prussia. 

It was the first time that foreign powers, interfer 
ing in the concerns of a nation divided into parties, 
have thought proper to thrust wholly out of their 



ON THE PRESENT STATE OF AFFAIRS. 



391 



councils, to postpone, to discountenance, to reject, 
and, in a manner, to disgrace, the party whom tliose 
powers came to support. Tlie single person of a 
king cannot be a party. Woe to the liing who is 
himself his party ! The royal party, with the king 
or his representatives at its head, is the royal came. 
Foreign powers have hitherto chosen to give to such 
wars as this the appearance Oi '' contest, and not 

that of an hostile invasion. lie Spaniards, in 

the sixteenth century, sent ait.- to the chiefs of the 
League, they appeared as allies to that league, and to 
the imprisoned king (the Cardinal de Bourbon) which 
that league had set up. When the Germans came to 
the aid of the Protestant princes, in the same scries 
of civil wars, they came as allies. When the English 
came to the aid of Henry the Fourth, they appeared 
as allies to that prince. So did the French always, 
when they intermeddled in the affairs of Germany : 
they came to aid a party there. When the Englisli 
and Dutch intermeddled in the succession of Spain, 
they appeared as allies to tlie Emperor, Charles the 
Sixth. In short, the policy has been as uniform as 
its principles were obvious to an ordinary eye. 

According to all the old principles of law and pol- 
icy, a regency ought to have been appointed by tlie 
French princes of the blood, nobles, and parliaments, 
and then recognized by the combinv, powers. Fun- 
damental liiw and ancient usage, as well as the clear 
reason of the thing, have always ordained it during 
an imprisonment of the king of France : as in the 
case of John, and of Francis the First. A monarchy 
ought not to be left a momert without a representa- 
tive having an interest in the succession. The or- 
ders of the state ought also to have been recognized 



892 



HEADS FOB CONSIDEBATION 




i 

i, 

« 

J 





in those amongst whom alone they existed in free- 
dom, that is, in the emigrants. 

Thus, laying down a firm foiuidation on the recog- 
nition of the authorities of the kingdom of France, 
according to Nature and to its fundamental laws, and 
not according to the novel and inconsiderate princi- 
ples of the usurpation which the united powers were 
come to extirpate, the king of Prussia and the Eni- 
po" r, as allies of the ancient kingdom of France, 
would have proceeded with dignity, first, to free the 
monarch, if possible, — if not, to secure the monarchy 
as principal in the design ; and in order to a\ oid all 
risks to that great object, (the object of other ages 
than the present, and of other countries than that of 
France,) they would of course avoid proceeding witli 
more haste or in a different manner than what the 
nature of such an object required. 

Adopting this, the onlv rational system, the ration- 
al mode of proceeding iipon it was to commence with 
an effective siege of Lisle, whicli the French generals 
must have seen taken before their faces, or be forced 
to fight. A plentiful coinitry of friends, from wlieiico 
to draw supplies, would have been behind them ; a 
plentiful country of enemies, from whence to force 
supplies, would have been before them. Good towns 
were always within reach to deposit their hospitals 
and magazines. Tht march from Lisle to Paris is 
through a less defensible country, and the distance is 
hardly so great as from Longwy to Paris. 

If the old politic and military ideas had governed, 
the advanced guard would have been formed of those 
who best knew the coiiutry and liad some interest in 
it, supported by some of the best light troops and light 
artillery, whilst the grand solid body of an army dis- 



■Bb 



ON THE PEESENT STATE OP AFFAIRS. 



393 



I 



I 



ciplincd to perfection procecJed Icisurciy, and in close 
connection with all its stores, provisions, and heavy 
cannon, to support the expedite body in case of mis- 
adventure, or to improve and complete its success. 

The direct contrary of all this was put in practice. 
In consequence of the original sin of tliis i)roject, the 
army of the French princes was everywhere tlirowu 
into the rear, and no part of it brought forward to the 
last moment, the t.me of tlic commencement ol the 
secret negotiation. This naturally made an ill im- 
pression on the people, and funushcd an occasion for 
the rebels at Paris to give out tliat the faithful sub- 
jects of the king were distrusted, despised, and ab- 
horred by his allies. The march was directed through 
a skirt of Lorraine, and thence into a part of Cham- 
pagne, the Duke of Brunswick leaving all tlie stron- 
gest places behind him, — leaving also behind him the 
strength of his artillery,— and by this means giving 
a superiority to the French, in the only way in which 
the present France is able to oppose a German force. 
In consequence of the adoption of those false poli- 
tir-s, which turned everything on the king's sole and 
single person, the whole plan of the wr.r was reduced 
to nothing but a coup de main, in order iu set that 
prince at liberty. If that failed, everything was to 

be given up. 

The scheme of a coup de vw'n might (under favora- 
ble circumstances) be very lit for a partisan at the 
head of a light corps, by wliose failure nothing ma- 
terial would be deranged. But for a royal army of 
ei-dity thousand men, headed by a king in person, 
who was to march an hundred and fifty miles through 
an enemy's country, — surely, this was a plan un- 
heard of. 



^1* 



S94 



HEAD3 FOB C0N8IDEBATION 



4 .M 







Although this plan was not well chosen, and pro- 
ceeded upon principles altosiether ill-judgod and im- 
politic, the superiority of the military force might 
in a great degree have supplied the defects, and 
furnished a corrective to the mistakes. The greater 
probability was, that the Duke of Brunswick would 
make his way to Paris over the bellies of the rabble 
of drunkards, robbers, assassins, rioters, mutineers, 
and half-grown boys, under the ill-obeyed command 
of a theatrical, vaporing, reduced captain of cavalry, 
who opposed that great commander and great army. 
But — Diis aliter visum. He began to treat, — the 
winds blew and the rains beat, — the house fell, be- 
cause it was built upor. sand, — and great was the fall 
thereof. This march was not an exact copy of ei- 
ther of the two marches made by the Duke of Parma 
into France. 

There is some secret. Sickness and weather may 
defeat an army pursuing a wrong plan : not that I 
believe the sickness to have been so great as it has 
been reported ; but there is a great deal of super- 
fluous humiliation in this business, a perfect prod- 
igality of disgrace. Some advantage, real or imagi- 
nary, must compensate to a great sovereign and to 
a great general for so immense a loss of reputation. 
Longwy, situated as it is, might (one should think) 
be evacuated without a capitulat'on with a repulilic 
just proclaimed by tlie king of Prussia as an usurp- 
ing and rebellious body. He was not far from Lux- 
embourg. He might have taken away the obnoxious 
French in his flight. It does not appear to have 
been necessary that those magistrates who declared 
for their own king, on the faith and under the im- 
mediate protection of the king of Prussia, should be 



j.'^^_ 



i^lM 



ON THE PEESEST STATIv OP AFFAIRS. 



i95 



delivered over to the gallows. It was not necessa- 
ry that the emigrant nobility and gentry who served 
with the king of Prussia's array, under his imme- 
diate command, should be excluded from the cartel, 
and given up to be hanged as rebels. Never was 
so gross and so cruel a breach of the public faith, 
not with an enemy, but witli a friend. Dumouriez 
has dropped very singular hints. Custine has spolcen 
out more broadly. These accounts have never been 
contradicted. Tliey tend to make an eternal rup- 
ture between the powers. The French have given 
out, that the Duke of Brunswick endeavored to ne- 
gotiate some name and place for tlie captive king, 
amongst the murderers and proscribcrs of those who 
have lost their all for his cause. Even this has not 
been denied. 

It is singular, and, indeed, a thing, under all its 
circumstances, inconceivable, that everything should 
by the Emperor be abandoned to the king of Prussia. 
That monarch was considered as princii)al. In the 
nature of things, as well as in his position with re- 
gard to the war, he was only an ally, and a new 
ally, with crossing interests in many particulars, and 
of a policy rather uncertain. At best, and supjws- 
ing him to act witli the greatest fidelity, the Emperor 
and the Empiro i.^ him must be but secondary ob- 
jects. Countries out of Germany must affect him in 
a still more remote manner. France, other than from 
the fear of its doctrinal principles, can to him be no 
object at all. Accordingly, the Khine, Sardinia, and 
the Swiss are left to their fate. The king of Prussia 
has no direct and immediate concern with France; 
consequentially, to be sure, a great deal: but the 
Emperor touches France directly in many parts ; ho 



396 



HEADS FOB CONSIDEBATION 



I 



'■ '1 



■m 





is a near neighbor to Sardinia, by his Milanese ter- 
ritories; ho borders on Switzerland; Cologne, pos- 
sessed by his uncle, is between Mentz, Treves, and 
the liing of Prussia's territories on the Lower Rhine. 
Tlie Emperor is the natural guardian of Italy and 
Germany, — the natural balance against th:; ambition 
of France, whether rei)ublican or monarcliical. His 
ministers and his generals, therefore, ought to havo 
had their full sliaro in every material consultation, — 
whicli I suspect they iiad not. If he has no minis- 
ter capable of jjlaiis of policy which compreliend the 
superintendeney of a war, or no general with the 
least of a political head, things have been as they 
must bo. However, in all the parts of this strange 
proceeding there must be a secret. 

It is probably known to ministers. I do not mean 
to pel etrate into it. My specnhitioiis on this head 
must be only conjectural. If the king of Prussia, 
under the pretext or on the reality of some informa- 
tion relative to ill practice on the part of the court 
of Vienna, takes advantage of his being admitted 
into the heart of the Emperor's dominions in tlie 
character of an ally, afterwards to join the com- 
mon enemy, and to enable France to seize the Xetii- 
erlands, and to reduce and Imnible the Empire, I 
cannot conceive, upon every principle, anything more 
alarming for tliis country, separately, and as a part 
of the general sy .a. After all, we may be looking 
in vain in the regions of politics for what is only 
the operation of temper and cliaracter upon acciden- 
tal circumstances. But I never knew accidents to 
decide the whole of any great business ; and I never 
l^new temper to act, but that some system of politics 
agreeable to its peculiar spirit was blended with it, 



pos- 



ON THE PRESENT STATE OP AFFAITIS. 897 

strcnptliened it, and got stronprth from it. There- 
fore the politics can hardly be put out of the ques- 

tion. . , . T 

Great mistakes have been committed : at least i 
liope so. If there have beo^i none, the case m luturo 
is desperate. I have endeavored to point out some 
of those which have occurred to me, and most of them 

very early. . a. ^ e 

Whatever may be the cause of the present state of 
things, on a full and mature view and comparison ot 
the historical matter, of the transactions that have 
passed before our eyes, and of •' ' future prospect 
I think I am authorized to form an opinion without 
the least hesitation. 

That there never was, nor is, nor ever will be, nor 
ever can be, the least rational hope of making an 
impression on France by any Continental powers, if 
En-land is not a part, is not the directing part, is 
not" the soul, of the who\e confederacy against it. 

This, so far as it is an anticipation of future, is 
grounded on the whole tenor of former history. In 
speculation it is to be accounted for on two plain 

principles. 

Fii-t That Great Britain is likely to take a more 
fair and equal part in the alliance than the other 
powers, as having less of crossing interest or per- 
plexed discussion with any of them. 

Secondly, Because France cannot have to deal with 
any of these Continental sovereigns, without their 
feeling that nation, as a maritime power, greatly 
Buperior to them ail put together,- a force which is 
only to be kept in check by England. 

England, except during the eccentric aberration 
of Charles the Second, has always considered it as 



898 



HEADS FOB CONSIDERATION 



i!ii 



*?; ' 



«l^ 



her duty and interest to take her placo in such a 
confederacy. Uur chief disputes must ever be witii 
France; and "" Eughind shows herself indifferent and 
unconcerned, -i these powers are combined against 
tlie enterprises of Franco, she is to look with certainty 
for the same indifference on tlie part of these powers, 
when she may be at war with that natiop This will 
tend totally to discoimect this kingdom from the sys- 
tem of Europe, in which if she ought not rashly to 
meddle, she ought never wholly to withdraw herself 
from it. 

If, then, England is put in motion, whether by a 
consideration of the general safety, or of the influ- 
ence of Franco upon Spain, or by the probable oper- 
ations of this new system on the Netherlands, it must 
embrace in its project the whole as much as possible, 
and the part it takes ought to be as much as possible 
a leading and presiding part. 
I therefore beg leave to suggest, — 
First, That a minister should forthwith be sent 
to Spain, to encourage that court to persevere in 
the measures they have adopted against France, — to 
make a close alliance and guaranty of possessions, 
as against France, with that power, — and, whilst the 
formality of the treaty is pending, to assure them of 
our protection, postponing any lesser disputes to an- 
other occasion. 

Secondly, To assure the court of Vienna of our 
desire to enter into our ancient connections with 
her, and to support her effectually in the war whicii 
Prance has declared against her. 

Thirdly, To animate the Swiss and the king of 
Sardinia to take a part, as the latter once did on the 
principles of the Grand Alliance. 




ON THE PRESENT STATE OF AFFAins. 



399 



Fourthly, To put an cud to our disputes with Rus- 



Bia 



our 
and mutually to forgot the past. 1 l)elievc, ii" she 



is satisfied of this oblivion, she will return to her old 
sentiments with regard to this court, and will take 
a more forward part in this business than any otlier 

power. 

Fifthly, If what has happened to the king of Trus- 
fia is only in consequence of a sort of panic or of 
levity, and an indisposition to persevere long in one 
design, the support and concurrence of Russia will 
tend to steady him, and to give him resolution, if 
he be ill-disposed, with that i)ower on his buck, and 
without one ally in Europe, 1 conceive ho w ill not be 
easily led to derange the plan. 

Sixthly, To use the joint influence of our court, 
and of our tlien allied powers, with Ilolhind, to arm 
as fully as she can by sea, and to make some addition 

by land. 

Seventhly, To acknowledge tho IJng of l^^ance's 
next brother (assisted by such a council and such 
representatives of the kingdom of France as shall 
bo thought proper) regent of France, and to send 
that prince a small supply of money, arms, clothing, 
and artillery. 

Eighthly, To give force to these negotiations, an 
instant naval armament ought to be adopted, — one 
squadron for the Mediterranean, another for the 
Channel. The season is convenient, — most of our 
trade being, as I take it, at home. 

After speaking of a plan formed upon the ancient 
policy and practice of Great Britain and of Europe, 
to which this is exactly conformable in ever/ re- 
spect, with no deviation whatsoever, and which is, 
I conceive, much more strongly called for by the 



.i^ 



400 



BEADS FOR CONSIDEBATION 



i.,:f 






3 

i. 

■•» 

J 




present circumstances than !)y any former, I mui^t 
take notice of another, which I hear, but cannot pci- 
suado myself to believe, is in agitation. This plan 
is grounded uj>on the very same view of things whicli 
is here stated, — namely, the danger to all sovereigns, 
and old repul)lics, from the prevalence of Frencii 
power and influence. 

It is, to form a congress of all the European pow- 
ers for the purpose of a general defensive alliance, 
the objects of which should be, — 

First, Tlie recognition of this new republic, (which 
they well know is formed on the principles and lor 
the declared purpose of the destruction of all kings.) 
and, whenever the heads of this new rcj uMic shall 
consent to release the royal captives, to make peace 
with them. 

Secondly, To defend themselves with their joint 
forces against the open aggressions, or the secret 
practices, intrigues, and writings, which are used 
to propagate the French principles. 

It is easy to discover from whose shop this com- 
modity comes. It is so perfectly absurd, that, if that 
or anything like it meets with a serious entertain- 
ment in any cabinet, I fhonld think it the effect of 
what is called a judicial blindness, the certain fore- 
runner of the destruction of all crowns and king- 
doms. 

An offensive alliance, in which union is preserved 
by common efforts in common dangers against a 
common active enemy, may preserve its consisten- 
cy, and may produce for a given time some con- 
siderable effect: though this is not easy, and for any 
very long period can hardly be expected. But a 
defensive alliance, formed of long discordant inter- 



ON THE PRESENT STATE 01 AFK 



401 



ests, witli iuuuuiorable discussions existing, having 
no one pointed olyoet to which it is directed, wliicli 
is to ho held together with aa uurcmltted vigilance, 
as watchful in peace as in war, is so evidently irap<js- 
sihlo, is such a chimera, is so contrary to liuman 
nature and the course of human alTairs, that I am 
persuaded no person in his senses, except those 
whose country, religion, and sovereign are de{)os- 
ited in the French funds, could dreaui of it. Tlicro 
is not the slightest petty boundary suit, no dillerenco 
between a family arrangement, no sort of misunder- 
standing or cross purpose between tlie pride and eti- 
quette of courts, that would not entir -ly disjoint this 
sort of alliance, and render it as futile in its eirects 
as it is feeble in its principle. But when we consider 
that the main drift of that defensive alliance must bo 
to prevent the operation of intrigue, mischievous doc- 
trine, and evil oxaraple, in the success of unprovoked 
rebellion, regicide, and systematic assassination and 
massacre, the absurdity of such a scheme becomes 
quite lamentable. Open the communication with 
France, and the rest follows of course. 

How far the interior circumstances of this country 
support what is said with regard to its foreign poli- 
tics must be left to better judgments. I am sure 
the French faction here is iufuiitely strengthened 
by the success of the assassins on the other side of 
the water. This evil in the heart of Europe must 
be extirpated from that centre, or no pai-t ot the cir- 
cumference can be free from the mischief which ra- 
diates from it, and which will spread, circle beyond 
circle, in spite of all the little defensive precautious 
which can be employed against it. 

I do nut put uiv name to these hhils submitted to 
VOL. IV. 26 



i.-l. J.i 



.J4 ] JH 






In 



402 



HEADS FOB C0N8IDKBATI0N. 




the consideration of reflecting men. It is of too lit- 
tle importance to suppose the name of the writer 
could add any weight to the state of things contained 
in this paper. That state of things presses irresisti- 
bly on my judgment, and it lies, and has long kin, 
with a heavy weight upon my mind. I cannot think 
that what is done in France is beneficial to the hu- 
man race. If it were, the English Constitution ought 
no more to stand against it than the ancient Cous>ti- 
tution of the kingdom in which the new system pre- 
vails. I thought it the duty of a man not uncon- 
cerned for the public, and who is a faithful sul)joet 
to the king, respectfully to submit this state of facts, 
at this new step in the progress of the French arms 
and politics, to his Majesty, to his confidential ser- 
vants, and to those persons who, though not in office, 
by their birth, their rank, their fortune, their char- 
acter, and their reputation for wisdom, seem to mc 
to have a large stake in the stability of the ancient 
order of things. 



•1 



B^TB, November 6, 1792. 






REMARKS 

OH 

THE POLICY OF THE ALLIES 
WITH RESPECT TO FRANCE. 

BBQTJH IN OCTOBKE, 1793. 



'I 



m f j 



i , 



i' 



i.m 



1 ■ 



I. ^,- 




ON THE POLICY OF THE ALLIES. 



AS the proposed manifesto is, I understand, to 
promulgate to the world the general idea of a 
plan for the regulation of a great kingdom, and 
through the regulation of that kingdom probably to 
decide the fate of Europe forever, nothing requires a 
more serr deliberation with regard to the time of 
makin - . circumstances of those to whom it is 
addres i. >d the matter it is to contain. 

As tc ■- ime, (with the due diffidence in my own 
opinion,) I have some doubts whether it is not ratber 
unfavorable to the issuing any manifesto with regard 
to the intended government of France, and for this 
reason: that it is (upon the principal point of our 
attack) a time of calamity and defeat. Manifestoes 
of this nature are commonly made when the army 
of some sovereign enters into the enemy's country in 
great force, and under the imposing authority of that 
force employs menaces towards those whom he desires 
to awe, and makes promises to those whom he wishes 
to engage in his favor. 

As to a party, what has been done at Toulon 
leaves no doubt that the party for which we declare 
must be that which substantially declares for royalty 
as the basis of the government. 

As to menaces, nothing, in my opinion, can con- 
tribute more effectually to lower any sovereign in the 



n 

'4 



406 



ON THE POUCY OF THE ALLIES. 






!* 



I 

J. 

m 




public estimation, and to turn his defeats into dis- 
graces, than to threaten in a moment of impotence. 
Tlie second manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick ap- 
peared, therefore, to the world to be extremely ill- 
timed. However, if his menaces in that manifesto 
had bee.i seasonable, they were not without an object. 
Great crimes then apprehended, and great evils tlieii 
impending, were to be prevented. At this time, 
every act which early menaces might possibly have 
prevented is done. Punishment and vengeance alone 
remain, — and God forbid that they should ever be 
forgotten ! But the punishment of enormous offend- 
ers will not be the less severe, or the less exemplary, 
when it is not threatened at a moment when we have 
it not in our power to execute "ur threats. On the 
other side, to pass by proceedings of such a nefarious 
nature, in all kinds, as have been carried on in France, 
vtit;hout any signification of resentment, would be in 
effect to ratify them, and thus to become accessaries 
after the fact in all those enormities which it is im- 
possible to repeat or think of without horror. An 
absolute silence appears to me to be at this time the 
only safe course. 

The second usual matter of manifestoes is composed 
of promises to those who cooperate with our designs. 
These promises depend in a great measure, if not 
wholly, on the apparent power of the person who 
makes them to fulfil his engagements. A time of 
disaster on the part of the promiser seems not to add 
much to the dignity of his person or to the effect of 
his otters. One would hardly wish to seduce any 
unhappy persons to give the last provocation to a 
merciless tyranny, without very effectual means of 
protecting them. 



ON THE POUCT OF THE ALLIES. 



407 



The time, therefore, seems (as I said) not favor- 
able to a general manifesto, on account of the un- 
pleasant situation of our affairs. However, I writo 
in a changing scene, when a measure very impru- 
dent to-day may be very proper to-morrow. Some 
great victory may alter the whole state of tlie ques- 
tion, so far as it regards our power of fulfilling any 
engagement we may think fit to make. 

But there is another consideration of far gre-ter 
importance for all the purposes of this manifesto. 
The public, and the parties concerned, will look some- 
what to the disposition of the promisor indicated by 
his conduct, as well as to his power of fulfilling his 
engagements. 

Speaking of this nation as part of a general com- 
bination of powers, are we quite sure that others can 
believe us to be sincere, or that we can be even full/ 
assured of our own sincerity, in the protection of 
those who shall risk their lives for the restoration of 
monarchy in France, when the world sees tl at those 
who are the natural, legal, constitutional representa- 
tives of that monarchy, if it has any, have not had 
their names so much as mentioned in any one pub- 
lic act, that in no way whatever are their persons 
brought forward, that their rights have not been 
expressly or implicitly allowed, and that they have 
not been in the least consulted on the important 
interests they have at stake ? On the contrary, they 
are kept in a state of obscurity and contempt, anC In 
a degree of indigence at times bordering on beggary. 
They are, in fact, little less prisoners in the village of 
Hanau than the royal captives who are locked up in 
the tower of the Temple. What is this, according to 
the common indications which guide the judgii< -'t 



'i!'-:i 



. 



408 



ON THE POUCT OP THE ALLIES. 



Ill 



i : 



J- 




of mankiud, but, under the pretext of protecting the 
crown of France, in reality to usurp it '! 

I am also very apprehensive that there are other 
circumstances which must tend to weaken the force 
of our declarations. No partiality to tlie allied pow- 
ers can prevent great doubts on the fairness of oui 
intentions as supporters of the crown of France, or 
of the true principles of legitimate government in 
opposition to Jacobinism, when it is visible that the 
two leading orders of the state of France, who are 
now the victims, and who must always be the true 
and sole supports of monarchy in that country, are, 
at best, in some of their descriptions, considered only 
as objects of charity, and others are, when employed, 
employed only as mercenary soldiers, — that they are 
thrown back out of all reputable service, are in a 
manner disowned, considered as nothing in tlicir 
own cause, and never once consulted in the con- 
cerns of their king, their country, their laws, their 
religion, and their property. We even affect to be 
ashamel of them. In all our proceedings we care- 
fully avoid the appearance of being of a party with 
them. In all our ideas of treaty we do not regard 
them as what they are, tlie two leading orders of the 
kingdom. If we do not consider them in that light, 
we must recognize the savages by wliom they have 
been ruined, and who have declared war upon Eu- 
rope, wliilst they disgrace and persecute human na- 
ture, and openly defy the God that made them, as 
real proprietors of France. 

I am much afraid, too, that we shall scarcely be 
believed fair supporters of lawful monarchy against 
Jacobinism, so long as we continue to make and to 
observe cartels with the Jacobins, and on fair terms 



\^^^i 



ON THE POLICY OF THE ALLIES. 



409 



exchange prisoners with them, whilst the Royalists, 
invited to our standard, and employed under our 
pubUc faith against tlie Jacobins, if taken by that 
savage faction, are given up to tlio executioner witli- 
out the least attempt whatsoever at rp;ri.^al. For this 
we are to look at the king of Prussiu'., conduct, com- 
pared with his manifestoes about a twelvemonth ago. 
For this we are to look at the capitulations of Mentz 
and Valenciennes, made in the course of the present 
campaign. By these two capitulations the Cliristiau 
Royalists were excluded from any participation in the 
cause of the combined powers. They were consid- 
ered as the outlaws of Europe. Two armies were 
in effect sent against them. One of those armies 
(that which surrendered Mentz) was very near over- 
powering the Christians of Poitou, and tije other 
(that which surrendered at Valenciennes) has actu- 
ally crushed the people whom oppression and despair 
had driven to resistance at Lyons, has massacre!', sev- 
eral thousands of them in cold blood, pillaged the 
whole substance of the iilace, and pursued their rage 
to the very houses, condemning that noble city to 
desolation, in the unheard-of manner wo have seen 

it devoted. 

It is, then, plain, by a conduct which overturns a 
thousand declarations, that we take the Royalists of 
France only as an instrument of some convenience 
in a temporary hostility with the Jacobins, but that 
we regard those atheistic and murderous barbarians 
as the bond fide possessors of the soil of France. It 
appears, at least, that we consider them as a fair gov- 
ernment defado, if not dejure, a resistance to which, 
in favor of the king of France, by any man who hap- 
pened to be born within that country, might equita- 



y-. 



m£lk 




} 




410 



ON THE POLICY OP THE ALLIES. 



bly be considered by other nations as the crime of 
treason. 

For my part, I would sooner put my hand into the 
fire than sign an invitation to oppressed men to figlit 
under my standard, and then, on every sinister event 
of war, cruelly give them up to be punished as the 
basest of traitors, as long as I had one of the comnioa 
enemy in my hands to be put to dea.,.. n. order to se- 
cure those under my protection, and to vindicate the 
common honor of sovereigns. We hear nothing of 
this kind of security in favor of those whom we in- 
vite to the support of our cause. Without it, I am 
not a little apprehensive that the proclamations of 
tlie combined powers might (contrary to their inten- 
tion, no doubt) be looked upon as frauds, and cruel 
traps laid for their lives. 

So far as to the correspondence between our dec- 
larations and our conduct: let the declaration be 
worded as it will, the conduct is the practical com- 
ment by which, and which alone, it can be un- 
derstood. This conduct, acting on the declaration, 
leaves a monarchy without a monarch, and with- 
out any representative or trustee for the monarch 
and the monarchy. It supposes a kingdom without 
states and orders, a territory without proprietors, 
and faithful subjects who are to be left to the fato 
of rebels and traitors. 

The affair of the establishment of a government is 
a very difficult undertaking for foreign powers to act 
in as principals ; though as auxiliaries and mediators 
it has been not at all unusual, and may be a measure 
full of policy and humanity and true dignity. 

The first thing we ought to do, supposing us not 
giving the law as conquerors, but ueling as fiieudiy 



ON THE POUCr OP THE ALUE3. 



411 



powers applied to for counsel and assistance in the 
settlement of a distracted country, is well to consider 
the composition, nature, and temper of its objects, and 
particularly of those who actually do or who ought to 
exercise power in that state. It is material to know 
who they are, and how constituted, whom wo consider 
as the people of France. 

The next consideration is, through whom our ar- 
rangements are to be made, and on what principles 
the government we propose is to bo established. 

The first question on the people is this : Whether we 
are to consider the individuals now aduallj in France, 
numerically taken and arranged into Jacobin cluU, as 
the body politic, constituting the nation of France,— 
or whether we consider the original individual pro- 
prietors of lands, expelled since the Revolution, and 
the states and the bodies politic, such as the col- 
leges of justice called Parliaments, the corporations, 
noble and not noble, of baiUiages and towns and cit. 
ies, the bishops and the clergy, as the true constitu- 
ent parts of the nation, and forming the legally or- 
ganized parts of the people of France. 

In this serious concern it is very necessary that we 
should have the most distinct ideas annexed to the 
terms we employ ; because it is evident that an abu. ) 
of the ter.n people has been the original, fundamen- 
tal cause of those evils, the cure of which, by war and 
policy, is the present object of all the states of Eu- 
rope. 

If we consider the acting power in France, in any 
legal constriction of public law, as the people, tlie 
question is decided in favor of the republic one and 
indivisible. But we have decided for monarchy. If 
bO, we have a king and subjects; and that king and 






412 



ON THE POUCY OP THE ALLIES. 



I 



I 




subjects have rights and privileges which ought to be 
supported at home: for I do not suppose that the 
goveniment of that kingdom can or ought to be reg- 
ulated by the arbitrary mandate of a foreign confed- 
eracy. 

As to the faction exercising power, to suppose that 
monarchy can be supported by principled regicides, 
religion by professed atheists, order by clubs of Jaco- 
bins, property by committees of proscription, and ju- 
risprudence by revolutionary tribunals, is to be san- 
guine in a degree of which I am incapable. On then^ 
I decide, for myself, that these persons ai-e not tlit 
legal corporation of France, and that it is not with 
them we can (if we would) settle the government of 
France. 

Since, then, we have decided for monarchy in that 
kingdom, we ought also to settle who is to be the 
monarch, who is to be the guardian of a minor, and 
how the mom ,\i and monarchy is to be modified 
and supported ; if the monarch is to be elected, who 
the electors are to be, — if hereditary, what order is 
established, corresponding with an hereditary mon- 
archy, and fitted to maintain it; who are to modify 
it in its exercise ; who are to restrain its powers, 
where they ought to be limited, to strengthen them, 
where they are to be supported, or, to enlarge them, 
where the object, the time, and the circumstances 
may demand their extension. These are things 
which, in the outline, ought tr> be made distinct and 
clear ; for if they are not, (especially with regard to 
those great points, who are the proprietors of the soil, 
and wliat is the corporation of the kingdom,) there is 
nothing to hinder the complete establishment of a 
Jacobin republic, (such as tliat formed in 1790 and 



ON THE POUCY OP THE ALUE8. 



413 



1791,) under the name of a Dttmcratie Bayale. Jac- 
obinism does not consist in the having or not hav- 
ing a certain pageant under the name of a king, 
but " in taking the people as equal individuals, with- 
out any corporate name or description, without at- 
tention to property, without division of powers, and 
formin? the government of delegates from a number 
of muu so constituted,— in destroying or conEscating 
property, and bribing the public creditors, or the poor, 
with the spoils, now of one part of the community, 
uow of another, without regard to prescription or pos- 
session." 

I hope no o;.e can be so very blind as to imaguie 
that monarchy can be acknowledged and supported 
in France upon any other basis than that of its prop- 
erty, corporate and individual, — or that it can enjoy a 
moment's permanence or security upon any scheme 
of thmgs which sets aside all the ancient corporate 
capacities and distinctions of the kingdom, and sub- 
verts the whole fabric of its ancient laws and usages, 
political, civil, and religious, to introduce a system 
founded on the supposed rights of man, and the abso- 
lute equality of the hvman race. Unless, therefore, 
we declare clearly and distinctly in favor of the rexlo 
ration of property, and confide to the hereditary prop- 
erty of the kingdom the limitation and qualifications 
of its hereditary monarchy, the blood and treasure of 
Europe is wasted for the establishment of Jacobinism 
in France. There is no doubt that Danton and Ro- 
bespierre, Chaumette and Barcre, that Condorcct, 
that Thomas Paine, that La Fayette, and the ex-Bish- 
op of Autun, the Abb^ Gr^jgoire, with all the gang of 
the Siey^ses, the Henriots, and the Santerres, if they 
could secure themselves in the fruits of their lebel- 



ii * 
■1 



WW 




) 
J. 




414 



ON THL POUCY -W TICE ALLIES. 



lion and robbery, would bo perfectly iudiflerent, 
wljother tho mo.>t unhappy of all infants, whom liy 
the lessons of the shoemaker, his governor and guar- 
dian, tlicy arc training up studiously and methodi- 
cally to bo an idiot, or, what is worse, tho most wicked 
and baso of m uikiud, coutiimes to roceivo his civic 
education in the T emplo or the Tuileries, wliilst they, 
and such as they, really govern the kingdom. 

It cannot be too ofteu and too strongly inculcated, 
that monarchy and property must, in France, go to- 
gether, or neither can exist. To think of the possi- 
bility of the existence of a permanent and hereditary 
royalty, where nothing else is hertditary or /lermuiient 
in point either of personal or corporate dijnity, is a 
ruinous chimera, worthy of the Abb6 Isieyos, and 
those wicked fools, his associates, who usurped power 
by the murders of tho 19th of July and the Gth of 
October, 1789, and who brought forth the monster 
which they called Democratie lioyale, or tho Consti- 
tution. 

I believe that most thinking men would prefer 
infinitely some sober and sensible form of a repul*- 
lic, in which there Wixs no mention at all of a king, 
but which held out some reasonable security to prop- 
erty, life, and per-onal freedom, to a scheme of thihga 
like this Democra, Hoyale, founded on impiety, im- 
morality, fraudulent currencies, the confiscation of 
innocent individuals, and the prctondcd rights of 
man, — and which, a effect, excluding the wli-lo 
body of the nobility, clergy, and landed property of 
a great nation, threw everything into he hautis of 
a desperate set of obscure adventurers, who leu u, 
every mischief a blind and bloody bani of sanx-cu- 
loues. At the head, or rather at the tail, oi this sys- 



doaaaa 



on THE POLICY OP THE ALUES. 4 

tern was a m>8cral)1.3 i.;igca..t, as its ostonsu , ; ius,,. 
meat, who was to bo troar- d with very sp. o,ios . . 
indignity, till lo moinciu when he was nvey> d 
from the palace of coutenu-^ to the duiigeou of hor- 
ror, UTid thoiicc iod hy a Wr*.-.* cr .• lus capital, thn>urli 
tlio applau "8 of ail hired, frantic, druiikeii muituudo. 
to lose his iicad upon a scath.lil 

This is the Constitution, Di-mo'-ratie Pi'-ifde ; 
and this is what infallibly would be again >et up 
in France, to run exactly he sumo round if the 
pn-domiiiaut power should s.; far U forced to sub- 
ni I as to receive the name of a kin ', leaviii it to 
the Jacol»iii8 (that is, to tho^e who i ive sul. rted 
royalty and destroy, d proiH3riy) to i. >dify • o oiio 
and lu distribute the other as spoil. By ihc Jaco- 
bins 1 mean indiscriminately the Brissotins and the 
Maratists. kuowuig u- sort of diffen-uce betwccti 
them. A to any other pa y, non exists ii that 
unhappy country. The Boyalists (tlm^e in Poito- 
excepted) are banished au. extinguished; and 
to what they call the (Dnstitutio lalisty, or Di >- 
crat-. Ryyawc, they never had an existence of i i 
smallest degree of p -wer, viuMderatiou. or auti. .r- 
.ty, !>or, if they dill. •+ all from the rest of tlie 
ath .stiC banditti, ( inch from th ■ actions and 
prii.ciples I have nu reason to thi,.K,) "cre they 
ev-r any other than the tempo vry tools fin'' ui- 
f raments of the more determined, able, and >yste- 
luatic regicide>. Several attempts have been made 
to support this chimerical Bev^oeratie Itoyale: the 
first was by La Fayette, the ast by Dumouri,/ : 
hey tendea only to si .w t^- >t this absurd i <.i- 
ect had no party to suppoi it. The Giron.h.is 
under Wimpfcn, and at Bor ux, havo made somP 



416 



ON THE POLICT OP THE ALLIES. 









struggle. The Constitutionalists never could make 
any, and for a very plain reason : they were lead- 
ers in rebellion. All their principles and their whole 
scheme of government being republican, they could 
never excite t)ie smallest degree of enthusiasm in 
favor of the unhappy monarch, whom they had ren- 
dered contemptible, to make him the executive offi- 
cer in their new commonwealth, ""hey only appear- 
ed as traitors to their own Jacobin cause, not as 
faithful adherents to the king. 

In an address to France, in an attempt to treat 
with it, or in considering any scheme at all rela- 
tive to it, it is impossible we should mean the geo- 
graphical, we must always mean the moral and polit- 
ical country. I believe we shall be in a great error, 
if we act upon an idea that there exists in that coun- 
try any organized body of men who might be willing 
to treat on equitable terms for the restoration of 
tlieir monarchy, but who are nice in balancing those 
terms, and who would accept such as to tiiera ap- 
peared reasonable, bat who would quietly submit 
to the predomii:aut power, if they were not grati- 
fied m the fashion of some constitution which suited 
with their fancies. 

I take the state of France to be totally different. 
I know of no such body, and of no such party. So 
far from a combination of twenty men, (always ex- 
cepting Poitou,) I never yet heard that a single man 
could be named of sufficient force or influence to an- 
swer for another man, much less for the smallest dis- 
trict in the country, or for the most incomplete com- 
pany of soldiers in the army. We see every man 
that the Jacobins choose to apprehend taken up in 
his village or in his house, and conveyed to prison 






ON THE POLICY OF THE ALLIES. 



417 



without the least shadow of resistance, — and this in- 
differently, whether he is suspected of Eoyalism, or 
Federalism, Moderantisra, Democracy Royal, or any 
other of the names of faction which they start by the 
hour. What is much mori sistonishing, (and, if we 
did not carefully attend to tlie genius and circum 
stances of this Revolution, must indeed appear in- 
credible,) all their most accredited military l^^^^^^^ 
men, from a generalissimo to a corporal, «^;» <"""»- 
may be arrested, '(each in the midst of his 
camp, and covered with the laurels of accumulated 
victories,) tied neck and heels, thrown into a cart, 
and sent to Paris to be disposed of at the pleasure of 
the Revolutionary tribunals. 

As no individuals have power and influ- ^^J^Z 
ence, so there are no corporations, whether ^^^°^^; 
of lawyers or burghers, existing. The As- p<""=* 
sembly called Constituent, destroyed all such insti- 
tutions very early. The primary and secondary as- 
semblies, by their original constitution, were to bo 
dissolved when they answered the purpose of elect- 
ing the magistrates, and were expressly disqualified 
from performing any corporate act whatsoever. The 
transient magistrates have been almost all removed 
before the expiration of their terms, and new liavc 
been lately imposed upon the people wiihout the 
form or ceremony of an election. These magistrates 
during their existence ara put under, as all the exec- 
utive authorities are from first to last, the popular 
Locieties (called Jacobin clubs) of the several coun- 
tries, and this by an express order of the National 
Convention : it is even made a case of death to o\y 
poso or attack those clubs. They, too, have been 
lately subjected to an expurgatory scrutiny, to drive 



1 

I 



ill 



VOL. IV. 



27 



\ 



418 



ON THE POUCY OF THE ALLIES. 



- if: '■- * *« 




out from them everything savoring of what they call 
the crime of moderantism, of which offence, however, 
few were guiUy. But as people began to take refuge 
from their persecutions amongst themselves, they 
have driven them from that last asylum. 

Tlie state of France is perfectly simple. It con- 
sists of but two descriptions, — the oppressors and 
the oppressed. 

The first has the whole authority of the state in 
their hands,— all the arms, all the revenues of the 
public, all .^'.e confiscations of individuals and corpo- 
rations. Th !y have taken the lower sort from their 
occupations and have put them into pay, that they 
may form them into a body of janizaries to overrule 
and awe property. The heads of these wretches they 
never suffer to cool. They supply them with a 
food for fury varied by the day,— besides the sen- 
sual state of intoxication, from which they are rarely 
free. They have made the priests and people for- 
mally abjure the Divinity ; they have estranged them 
from every civil, moral, and social, or even natu- 
ral and instinctive sentiment, habit, and practice, 
and have rendered them systematically savages, to 
make it impossible for them to be the instruments 
of any sober and virtuous arrangement, or to be rec- 
onciled to any state of order, under any name what- 
soever. 

The other description — t^e oppressed — are peo- 
ple of some propert" : they are the small relics of 
the persecuted landed interest ; they are the burghers 
and the farmers. By the very circumstance of their 
being of some property, though numerous in some 
points of view, they cannot be very considerable as 
a number. In cities the nature of their occupations 



.j^gaiata 



ON THE POUCT OP THE ALLIES. 



419 



renders them domestic and feeble ; in the country 
it confines them to their farm for subsistence. The 
national guards are all changed and reformed. Every- 
thing suspicious in the description of which they were 
composed is rigorously disarmed. Committees, called 
of vigilance and safety, are everywhere formed: a 
most severe and scrutinizing inquisition, far more 
rigid than anything ever known or imagined. Two 
persons canno* meet and confer without hazard to 
their liberty, and even to their lives. Numbers 
scarcely credible have been executed, and their 
property confiscated. At Paris, and in most other 
towns, the bread they buy is a daily dole, — which 
they cannot obtain without a daily ticket delivered 
to them by their masters. Multitiides of all ages 
and sexes are actually imprisoned. I have reason 
to believe that in France there are not, for various 
state crimes, so few as twenty thousand* actually 
in jail,— a large proportion of people of property 
in any state. If a father of a family should show 
any disposition to resist or to withdraw himself from 
their power, his wife and children are cruelly to an- 
swer for it. It is by means of these hostages that 
they keep the troops, which they force by masses 
(as they call it) into the field, true to their colors. 
Another of their resources is not to be forgotten. 
They have lately found a way of giving a sort of 
ubiquity to the supreme sovereign authority, which 
no monarch has been able yet to give to any repre- 

seatation of his. 

The commissioners of the National Convention, 
who are the members of the Convention itself, and 
really exercise all its powers, make continual circuits 

• Some accounu make them five times as many. 



■; ''f^ 

'H 



•i» 




420 



ON THE POLICY OF THE ALUES. 



through every province, and visits to every army. 
Tliere they supersede all tlio ordinary authorities, 
civil and military, and change and alter everything 
at their pleasure. So that, in effect, no deliberative 
capacity exists in any portion of the inhabitants. 

Toulon, republican in principle, having taken its 
decision m a moment under the guillotine, and before 
the arrival of these commissioners, — Toulon, beuig a 
place re{;ularly fortified, and having in its bosom a 
navy in part highly discontented, has escaped, though 
by a sort of miracle: and it would not have escaped, 
if two powerful fleets had not been at the door, to 
give them not only strong, but prompt and immediate 
succor, especially as neither this nor any other sea- 
port town in France can be depended on, from the 
pficuliarly savage dispositions, manners, and connec- 
tions among the lower sort of people in those places. 
Tbis I take to be the true state of things in France, 
to far ai it regards any existing bodies, whether of le- 
gal or vohintary association, capable of acting or of 
treating in corps. 

As to tlie oppressed individuals, they are many, 
and as discontented as men must be under the mon- 
strous and complicated tyranny of all sorts with which 
they are crushed. They want no stimulus to throw 
off this dreadful yoke ; but they do want, not mani- 
festoes, which they have had even to surfeit, but 
real protection, force, and succor. 

The disputes and questions of men at their ease 
do not at all affect their minds, or e%er can occupy 
the minds of men in their situation. These theories 
are long t^ince gone by ; they liave had tlieir day, and 
have done their mischief. The question is not be- 
tween the rabble of systems, Fayettism, Condorcet- 



ON THE POUCY OF THE ALLIES. 



421 



ism, Monarchism, or Democratism, or Federalism, on 
the 'one side, and tlie fundamental laws of France 
on the other, — or between all these systems amongst 
themselves. It is a controversy (weak, indeed, and 
unequal, on the one part) between the proprietor 
and the robber, between the prisoner and the jailer, 
between the neck and the guiUoane. Four fifths of 
the French inhabitants would thankfully take protec- 
tion from the emperor of Morocco, and would never 
trouble their heads about the abstract principles of 
the power by which they were snatched from impris- 
onment, robbery, and murder. But then these men 
can do little or nothing for themselves. They have 
no arms, nor magazines, nor chiefs, nor union, nor 
the possibility of these things withi!>. themselves. On 
the whole, therefore, I lay it down as a certai xty, 
that in the Jacobins no change of mind is to be 
expected, and that no others in the territory of 
France have an independent and deliberative exist- 
ence. 

The truth is, that France is out of itself,— the 
moral France is separated from the geographical. 
The master of the house is expelled, and the robbers 
are in possession. If we look for the corporate people 
of France, existing as corporate in the eye and inten- 
tion of public law, (that corporate people I mean, 
who are free to deliberate and to decide, and who 
have a capacity to treat and conclude,) tliey are in 
Flanders, and Germany, in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, 
and England. There are all the princes of the blood, 
there are all the orders of the state, tliere are all the 
parliaments of the kingdom. 

This being, as I conceive, the true state of France, 
as it exists territorially^ and as it exists moralli/, the 



i 



422 



ON THE POUCT OF THE ALLIES. 



i 3 




itai 



,1 

• 




question will be, with whom we are to concert our 
arrangements, and whom we are to use as our in- 
struments in the reduction, in the pacification, and 
in the settlement of France. The work to be done 
must indicate the workmen. Supposing us to have 
national objects, we have two principal and one sec- 
ondary. The first two are so intimately connected 
as not to be separated even in thought : the ree&tab- 
lishment of royalty, and the reiistablishment of prop- 
erty. One would think it requires not a great deal 
of argument to prove that the most serious endeav- 
ors to restore royalty will be made by Royalists. 
Property will be most energetically restored by the 
ancient proprietors of that kingdom. 

When I speak of Royalists, I wish to be understood 
of those who were always such from principle. Every 
arm lifted up for royalty from the beginning was the 
arm of a man so principled. I do not thmk there 
are ten exceptions. 

The principled Royalists are certainly not of force 
to efiect these objects by themselves. If they were, 
the operations of the present great combination would 
be wholly unnecessary. What I contend for is, that 
they should be consulted with, treated with, and em- 
ployed; and that no foreigners whatsoever are ei- 
ther in interest so engaged, or in judgment and local 
knowledge so competent to answer all these pur- 
poses, as the natural proprietors of the country. 

Their number, for an exiled party, is also consid- 
erable. Almost the whole body of the landed pro- 
prietors of France, ecclesiastical and civil, have been 
steadily devoted to the monarchy. Tliis body does 
not amount to less than seventy thousand, — a very 
great number in the composition of the respectable 



-^ 



ON THE POUCY OP THE AIXIES. 



423 



cle^ses in any society. I am sure, that if half that 
uumber of the .ame description were taken out of 
this country, it would leave hardly 'anything that 
should call the people of England. On the faith of 
the Emperor and the king of Prussia, a body of ten 
housand nobility on horseback, with the king s two 
brothers at their head, served with the kmg of Prus- 
sia in the campaign of 1792, and equipped themselves 
with the last shilling of their ruined fortunes and 
exhausted credit.* It is not now the question, how 
that great force came to be rendered useless and to- 
tally dissipated. I state it now, only to remark tlut 
a great part of the same force exists, and would act, 
if it were enabled. I am sure everything has shown 
us that in this war with France one Frenchman is 
worth twenty foreigners. La Vendue is a proof of 

'"if we wish to make an impression on the minds 
of any persons in France, or to persuade them o 
join our standard, it is impossible that they should 
not be more easily led, and more readily formed and 
disciplined, (civilly and martially disciphned,) by 
those who speak their language, who are acquainted 
with their manners, who are conversant with heir 
usages and habits of thinking, and who have a local 
knowledge of their country, and some remains^ of an- 
cient credit and consideration, than with a body con- 

. Before the Revolution, the French noblesse were - Jjd»«d m 
numbers that they did not much exceed twenty thousand at leas 
of full-grown men. As they have been very cruelly f--'^- "J"" 
1 co?ps of soldiers, it is estimated, that, by the -->!' ^^ J'^'^^^ 
pers in L field, they have not lost less than five thousand men^ and 
n s r«rse i pursued, it is to be feared that the who e body of 
the Lnch nobiJty may be extinguished. Several hundreds have 
also perished by famine, and various accidents. 



1 



H« 



t 
'I 



.Jf 




If 






I* 



i« 



iji -rs- 



424 



ON TBE POUCT OF THE ALUES. 



gregated from all tongues and tribes. Whcro none 
of the respectable native interests are seen in the 
transaction, it is impossible that any declarations 
can convince those that are within, or those that 
are without, that anything else than some sort of 
hostility in the style of a conqueror is meant. At 
best, it will appear to such wavering persons, (if sucli 
there are,) wliom we mean to fix with us, a choice 
whether they are to continue a prey to domestic ban- 
ditti, or to be fought for as a carrion carcass and 
picked to the bone by all the crows and vultures of 
the sky. They may take protection, (and they would, 
1 doubt not,) but they can have neither alacrity nor 
zeal in such a cause. When they see nothing Imt 
bands of English, Spaniards, Neapolitans, Sardinians, 
Prussians, Austrians, Hungarians, Bohemians, Slavo- 
nians, Croatians, acting as principals, H is impussilile 
tliey should think we come with a beuelicent dosigii. 
Many of those fierce and barbarous people have al- 
ready given proofs how little they regard any French 
party wliatsoever. Some of these nations the people 
of France are j.^olous of: such are the English and 
the Spaniards ; — others they despise : such are tho 
Italians ; — others tliey hate and dread : such are tlie 
German and Danubian powers. At best, such inter- 
position of ancient enemies excites apprehension ; but 
in this case, how can tliey suppose that we come to 
maintain their legitimate monarcliy in a truly pater- 
nal French government, to protect thcu* privileges, 
their laws, their religion, and their property, when 
they see us make use of no one person wlio lias any 
intei est in them, any knowledge of them, or any the 
least zeal for them ? On the contrary, they see that 
we do not suffer any of those who have shown a zeal 



^ 



ON THE POUCY OP THE ALLIES. 



425 



in that cause which we seem to make our owu to 
come freely into auy place iu which the allies obtain 

auy footiug. • w ♦« 

If we wish to gaiu upon any people, it is right to 
gee what it is they expect. We have had a proposal 
from the Royalists of Poitou. They are well entitled, 
after a bloody war maintained for eight months agauist 
all the powers of anarcliy, to speak the sentiments of 
the Royalists of France. Do thoy desire us to exclude 
their princes, their clergy, their nobility ? The direct 
contrary. They earnestly solicit that men of every 
one of these descriptions should be sent to them. 
They do not call for English, Austrian, or Prussian 
officers. They call for French enii-rant officers. 
They call for the exiled priests. They have de- 
manded the Couite d'Aitois to appear at their head. 
These are the demands (quite natural demands) ol 
those who ai-'^ ready to follow the standard of mon- 
archy. . . 

The great means, therefore, of restoring the mon- 
archy which we have made the main object of the war, 
is, to 'assist the dignity, the religion, and the property 
of France to repossess themselves of the means of 
their natural influence. This ought to be the pri- 
mary object of all our politics and all our military 
operations. Otherwise everything will move in a 
preposterous order, and nothing but confusion and 
destruction will follow. 

I know that misfortune is not made to win respect 
from ordinary minds. I know that ihorc is a lean- 
ing to . v,)sperity, however obtained, and a prejudice 
in its favor. Tknow there is a disposition to hopo 
somctliing from the variety and inconstancy of villa- 
uy rathrr than from the tiresome uniformity of fixed 



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OK THE POUCT OF THE ALUES. 



principle. There have been, I admit, situations in 
which a guiding person or party miglit bo gained 
over, and through liim or them tlio whole body of a 
nation. For tlio hope of such a conversion, and of 
deriving advantage from enemies, it miglu be politic 
for a while to throw your friends into tlie sliadu. 
But examples drawn from liistory in occisioiu like 
the present will be found dangerously to mislead us. 
Franco has no resemblance to other countries wliicli 
have undergone troubles and been purified by tliem. 
If France, Jacobinized as it has been for four full 
years, did contain any bodies of authority and dis- 
position to treat with you, (most assuredly she does 
not,) such is the levity of those who have expelled 
everything respectable in their country, sucli their 
ferocity, their arrogance, their mutinous spirit, their 
habits of defying everything human and divine, that 
no engagement would hold with them for tlirco 
months ; nor, indeed, could they cohere together for 
any purpose of civilized society, if left as thoy now 
are. There must be a means, not only of breaking 
their strength within themselves, but of civilizing 
them ; and these two things must go together, before 
we can possibly treat with them, not only as a nation, 
but with any division of lliem. Descriptions of men 
cf their own race, but better in rank, superior iu 
property and decorum, of honorable, decent, and or- 
derly habits, are absolutely necessary to bring them 
to such a frame as to qualify tliem so mucli as to 
come into contact witli a civilized nation. A set of 
those ferocious savages witli arms in their hands, left 
to themselves in one part of tlie country wliilst you 
proceed to another, would break forth into outrages 
at least as bad as their former. They must, as fast 



v\ 



ON THE POLICT OP THE ALUES. 427 

as Kaiued, (if ever they are gained,) be put under the 
Jde, direction, and governn. it of better French- 
Ln Ihan themselves, or they *iU instantiy relapse 
iuto a fever of aggravated Jacobinism. 

We must not judge of other parts of Franco by the 
temporary submissiou of Toulon, with two vast fleets 
in its harbor, and a garrison far more numeix>us than 
all the inhabitants able to bear arms. If they wero 
left to Uiemselves, I am quite sure they would not re- 
taui their attachment to mouai-chy of any name for 

a single week. j p r 

To administer the only cure for the unb.ard-of dis 
orders of that undone country, I think it mfinitely 
happy for us that God has given into our hands 
more efifectual remedies than human contrivance 
could point out. We have in our bosom, and in 
the bosom of otiier civilized states, nearer forty than 
thirty thousand persons, providentially preserved, not 
only from the cruelty and violence, but from the con- 
tagion of the horrid practices, sentiments, and lan- 
guage of the Jacobins, and even sacredly guarded 
from the view of such abominable scenes. If we 
should obtain, in any considerable district, a tootnig 
in France, we possess an immense body of physicians 
and magistrates of the mind, whom we now know to 
be the most discreet, gentle, well-tempered, concilia- 
tory, virtuous, and pious persons who m any order 
probably existed in the world. You will have a mis- 
sioner of peace and order in every parish. Never 
was a wiser national economy than ui the charity 
of the English and of other countries. Never was 
money better expended tlian in the maintenance of 
this body of civil troops for reestablishhig order m 
France, and for thus securing its dvilization to Eu- 






488 



ON THB POUCT OP THE ALLIES. 



i *■ 



V I ^ 



-st 




rope. This means, if properly used, is of value iues- 
tiiuable. 

Nor is this corps of instrumeats of civilizatiou cou- 
fined to the first order of that state, — I mean the 
clergy. The allied powers possess also au exceed- 
ingly numerous, well-informed, sensible, ingenious, 
kigh-principlod, and {spirited bcly of cavaliers in tlio 
expatriated lauded iutcrc!>t of France, as well quali- 
fied, at least, as I (who have been taught by tune and 
experience to moderate my calculation of the expec- 
tancy of human abilities) ever expected to sec in the 
body of any larded gentlemen and soldiers 1.3 liieir 
birth. France is well winnowed and sifted. !<*• vir- 
tuous men are, I believe, amongst the most virtuous, 
as its wicked are amongst tlio most abandoned upon 
earth. Whatever in the territory of France may be 
found to be in the middle between these must be at- 
tracted to the better part. Tliis will be compassed, 
when every gentleman, everywhere being restored to 
his landed estate, each on his patrimonial ground, 
may join the dorgy in reanimating the loyalty, fidel- 
ity, and religion of the people, — that these gentlemen 
proprietors of land may sort that people according to 
the trust they severally merit, that they may arm the 
honest and well-afTccted, and disarm and disable the 
factious and ill-disposed. No foreigner can make 
this discrimination nor these arrangements. The 
ancient corporations of burghers according to their 
several modes should be restored, and placed (as 
they ought to be) in the hands of men of gravity 
and property in the cities or bailliages, according to 
the proper constitutions of the commons or third es- 
tate of Fi-ance. They will restrain and regiilate the 
seditious rabble there, as the gentlemen will on their 



ON THE POUCY OF THE ALLIES. 



429 



ovrn estates. In this way, and in this way « -n<-. the 
country (once broken in upon Vy forei-n f .. well 
directed) mav be gained and settled. It am^r, ho 
gained and settk-'i hy itsdf, and tlirough the medium 
of its W-. native dignity and prui>erty. It is not 
honest, it is i.ot decent, stil. less is ii politic, tor 
foreign powers t?K>msclves to attempt anything in 
this minute, internai, local detail, in which they could 
show nothing -it ignorance, imbcL.lity, coufr .on, 
and oppression, ^s to the prince who has a just 
claim to exercise trie regency of France, like other 
men he is not without his faults and Ins defc b. 
But faults or defects (always supposing them faults 
of common human infirmity) are not what in any 
country destroy a legal title to govcrr.ment. Thes- 
princes are kept in a poor, obscure, country town ot 
the king of Prussia's. Their reputation is entirely 
at the mercy of every calumniator. They cannot 
show themselves, they cannot explain themselves 
as princes ought to do. After being well informed 
as any man here can be, I do not find that these 
blemishes in this eminent person are at all consider- 
able, or that they at all affect a character which is 
fUll of probity, honor, gene: .ity, and real goodness. 
In some points he has but too much resemblanco 
to his unfortunate brother, who, with all his weak- 
nesses, had a good understanding, and many parts 
of an excellent man and a good king. But Mon- 
sieur, without supposing the other d.lv lent, (as he 
was not,) excels him in general knowledge, and in 
a sharp and keen observation, with something ot 
a better address, and an happier mode of speaking 
and of writing. His conversation is open, agreeable, 
and informed; his manners gracious and prmcely- 



(I 



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480 



ON THE POUCT OF THE AUJES. 



} ■ ■•■* 





His brotlier, the Comte d'Artois, sustains still bet- 
ter the representation of his place. He is eloquent, 
lively, engaging in the highest degree, of a decided 
character, full of energy and activity. In a word, 
he is a brave, honorable, and accomplished cavalier. 
Tlieir brethren of royalty, if they were true to their 
own cause and interest, instead of relegating those 
illustrious persons to an obscure town, would bring 
tliem forward in their courts and camps, and exhibit 
them to (what they would speedily obtain) the esteem, 
respect, and affection of mankind, 
objecuon As to their knocking at every door, (which 
regent's en- sccms to givo oflfcnce,) cau anything be more 
to Spain. natural? Abandoned, despised, rendered in 
a manner outlaws by all tlie powers of Europe, wlio 
have treated their unfortunate brethren with all the 
giddy pride and improvident insolence of blind, un- 
feeling prosperity, who did not even send them a 
compliment of condolence on the murder of their 
brotlier and sister, in sucli a state is it to be won- 
dered at, or blamed, that they tried every way, likely 
or unlikely, well or ill chosen, to get out of the hor- 
rible pit into which they are fallen, and that in 
particular they tried whether the princes of their 
own blood might at length be brought to think the 
cause of kings, and of kings of their race, wounded 
in the murder and exile of the branch of France, of 
as much importance as the killing of a brace of par- 
tridges ? If they were absolutely idle, and only eat 
in sloth their bread of sorrow and dependence, they 
wculd be forgotten, or at best thought of as wretches 
unworthy of their pretensions, which they had done 
nothing to support. If they err from our interests, 
what care has been taken to keep them in those in- 



^iMM^ 



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ON THE POLICY OP THE ALLIES. 



431 



tcrcsts? or what desire has ever been sliown to em- 
ploy them in any other way than as instruments of 
their own degradation, shame, and ruin ? 

The Parliament of Paris, by whom the title of the 
regent is to be recognized, (not made,) according to 
the laws of the kingdom, is ready to recognize it, and 
to register it, if a place of meeting was given to them, 
which might be within their own jurisdiction, suppos- 
ing that only locality was required for the exercise 
of their functions : for it is one of the advantages of 
monarchy to have no local seat. It may maiutam 
its rights out of the sphere of its territorial jurisdic- 
tion, if other powers will suffer it. 

I am well apprised that the little intriguers, and 
whisperers, and self-conceited, thoughtless babblers, 
worse than either, run about to depreciate the fallen 
virtue of a great nation. But whilst they talk, we 
must make our choice, - they or the Jacobins. We 
have no other option. As to those who in the pride 
of a prosperity not obtained by their wisdom, valor, 
or industry, think so well of themselves, and of then- 
own abilities and virtues, and so ill of other men 
truth obliges me to say that they are not founded 
in their presumption concerning themselves, nor in 
their contempt of the French princes, magistrates, 
nobility, and clergy. Instead of inspiring me wi h 
dislike and distrust of the unfortunate, engaged with 
us in a common cause against our Jacobin enemy, 
they take away all my esteem for their own charac 
ters, and all my deference to their judgment. ^ 

There are some few French gentlemen, indccu, who 
talk a language not wholly different from this jargon. 
Those whom I have in my eye I respect as gallant 
soldiers, as much as any one can do; but on their 






ii'l 







-J 

1^ 



432 



ON THE POUCT OP THE ALLIES. 



political judgment and prudence I have not the 
slightest reliance, nor on their knowledge of their 
own country, or of its laws and Constitution. They 
are, if not enemies, at least not friends, to the orders 
of their own state, — not to the princes, the clergy, or 
the nobility ; they possess only an attachment to the 
monarchy, or rather to the persons of the late king 
and queen. Tn all other respects their conversation 
is Jacobin. I am afraid they, or some of them, go 
into the closets of ministers, and tell them that tlio 
affairs of France will be better arranged by the allied 
powers than by the landed proprietors of the king- 
dom, or by the princes who have a right to govern ; 
and that, if any French are at all to be employed in 
the settlement of their country, it ought to be only 
those who liave never declared any decided opinion, 
or taken any active part in the Revolution.* 

I suspect that the authors of this opinion are mere 
soldiers of fortune, who, though men of integrity and 
honor, would as gladly receive military rank from 
Russia, or Austria, or Prussia, as from the regent of 
France. Perhaps their not having as much impor- 
tance at his court as they could wish may incline 
them to this strange imagination. Perliaps, having 
no property in old France, they are more inditrerent 
about its restoration. Their language is certainly 
flattering to all ministers in all courts. We all are 
men ; we all love to be told of the extent of our own 
power and our own faculties. If we love glory, we 
are jealous of partners, and afraid even of our own 
instruments. It is of all modes of flattery the most 
effectual, to be told that you can regulate tlie affairs 
of another kingdom better than its hereditary proprie- 

• This wn? the langunge of the Ministerialists. 



ON THE POUCT OF THE ALUE3. 



433 



tors. It is formed to flatter the principle of onqiicst 
so natural to all men. It is this principle which is 
now making thi partition of Poland. The powers 
concerned Vave been told by some perfidious Poles, 
and perhaps they believe, that their usurpation is a 
great benefit to tlie people, especially to the common 
people. However this may turn out with regard to 
Poland, I am quite sure tliat France could not be so 
well under a foreign direction as under that of the 
representatives of its own Ising and its own ancient 

estates. 

I tliink I have myself studied France as much as 
most of tliose whom the allied courts are likely to 
employ in such a work. I have likewise of myself 
as partial and as vain an opinion as men commonly 
have of themselves. But if I could command the 
whole military arm of Europe, I am sure that a 
bribe of the best province in that kingdom would not 
tempt me to intermeddle in their atfairs, except in 
perfect concurrence and concert with the natural, 
legal interests of the country, composed of tlie eccle- 
siastical, the military, the several corporate bodies of 
justice and of burghership, making under a mon- 
arch (I repeat it again and again) the French nation 
according to its fundamental Constitution. No consid- 
erate statesman would undertake to meddle with it 
upon any other condition. 

The government of that kingdom is fundamentally 
monarchical. The public law of Europe has never 
recognized in it any other form of government. The 
potentates of Europe have, by that law, a right, an 
interest, and a duty to know with what government 
tliey are to treat, and what they are to admit into the 
federative society, — or, in other words, into the diplo 

TOL. IV. 28 



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484 



ON THE POLICY OF THE ALLIES. 



matic republic of Europo. This right is clear and 
indisputable. 

What other and further interference they hare a 
right to in the interior of the concerns of another peo- 
ple is a matter on which, as on every political sub- 
ject, no very definite or positive rule can well bo laid 
down. Our neighbors are men ; and rho will at- 
tempt to dictate tlic laws under which it is allowable 
or forbidden to take a part in the concerns of men, 
whether they are considered individually or in a col- 
lective capacity, whenever charity to them, or a care 
of my own safety, calls forth my activity ? Circum- 
stances perpetually variable, directing a moral pru- 
dence and discretion, the general principles of which 
never vary, must alone prescribe a conduct fitting on 
such occasions. The latest casuists of public law are 
rather of a republican cast, and, in my mind, by no 
means so averse as they ought to be to a right in the 
people (a word which, ill defined, is of the most 
dangerous use) to make changes at their pleasure in 
the fundamental laws of their country. These writ- 
ers, however, when a country is divided, leave abun- 
dant liberty for a neighbor to support any of the par- 
ties according to his choice.* This interference must, 
indeed, always be a right, whilst the privilege of do- 
ing good to others, and of averting from thom every 
sort of evil, s a right: circumstances may render 
that right a duty. It depends wholly on this, wlicth- 
er it be a Jon-f fide charity to a party, and a prudent 
precaution with regard to yourself, or whether, under 
the pretence of aiding one of the parties in a nation, 
you act in such a manner as to aggravate its calami- 
ties and accomplish its final destruction. In truth, 

• Vattel. 



I 



ON THE POUOT OP THE ALUES, 



435 



it is not the interfering or keeping aloof, but iniqui- 
tous interaeddling, or treacherous inaction, which is 
praised or blamed by the decision of an equitable 

judge. 

It will be a just and irresistible presumption against 
the fairness of the interposing power, that he takes 
with him no party or description of men in the divid- 
ed state. It is not probable that these parties should 
all, and all alike, be more adverse to the true inter- 
ests of their country, and less capable of forming a 
judgment upon them, than those who arc absolute 
strangers to their affairs, and to the character of the 
actors in them, and have but a remote, feeble, and 
secondary sympathy with their interest. Sometimes 
a calm and healing arbiter may be necessary ; but he 
is to compose differences, not to give laws. It is im- 
possible that any one should not feel the full force of 
that presumption. Even people, whose politics for 
the supposed good of their own country lead them to 
take advantage of the dissensions of a neighboring 
nation in order to ruin it, will not directly propose to 
exclude the natives, but they will take that mode of 
consulting and employing them which most nearly 
approaches to an exclusion. In some particulars they 
propose what amounts to that exclusion, in others 
they do much worse. They recommend to ministry, 
" that no Frenchman who has given a decided opin- 
ion or acted a decided part in this great Revolution, 
for or against it, should be countenanced, brought 
forward, trusted, or employed, even in the strictest 
subordination to the ministers of the allied powers. 
Although one would think that this advice would 
stand condemned on the first proposition, yet, as it 
has been made popular, and has been proceeded upon 



486 



ON THS POLICY OP THE AIXIES. 









practically, I think it right to give it a full consider- 
ation. 

And first, I have asked myself who these French- 
men are, that, in the state their own country has been 
in for these last five years, of all the people of Eu- 
rope, have alone not been able to form a decided 
opinion, or have been unwilling to act a decided 
part? 

Looking over all the names I have heard of in this 
great revolution in all human affairs, I find no man 
of any distinction who has remained in that more 
than Stoical apathy, but the Prince de Couti. This 
mean, stupid, seliish, swinish, and cowardly animal, 
universally known and despised as such, has indeed, 
except in one abortive attempt to elope, been per- 
fectly neutral. However, his neutrality, which it 
seems would qualify him for trust, and on a com- 
petition must set aside the Prince de Cond^, can 
be of no sort of service. His moderation has not 
been able to keep him from a jail. The allied pow- 
ers must draw him from that jail, before they can 
have the full advantage of the exertions of this great 
neutralist. 

Except him, I do not recollect a man of rank or 
talents, who by his speeches or his votes, by his pen 
or by his sword, has not been active on this scene. 
The time, indeed, could admit no neutrality in any 
iierson worthy of the name of man. There were 
originally two great divisions in France : the one is 
that which overturned the whole of the government 
in Church and State, and erected a lOpublic on the 
basis of atheism. Their grand engine was the Jaco- 
bin Club, a sort of secession from which, but exactly 
on the same principles, begat another short-lived one, 



ISSEKil 



ON THE POUCT OF THE ALUES. 



487 



called the Club of Eightv-Nine * which was chiefly 
guided by the court rebels, who, in addition to the 
crimes of which tliey were guilty in common with the 
others, h&,d the merit of betraying a gracious master 
and a kind benefactor. Subdivisions of tliis faction, 
which rince we have seen, do not in the least ditTer 
from each other in their principles, their dit-positious, 
or the means they have employed. Tlicir only quar- 
rel has been about power : in that quarrel, like wave 
succeeding wave, one faction has got the better and 
expelled the other. Thus, La Payetto for a while got 
the better of Orldans ; and Orleans afterwards pre- 
vailed over La Fayette. Brisnot overpowered Or- 
leans ; Bar^re and Robespierre, and their faction, 
mastered thera both, and cut ofiF their heads. All 
who were not Royalists have been listed in some or 
other of these divisions. If it were of any use to set- 
tle a precedence, t)ie elder ought to have his rank. 
The first autiiors, plotters, and contrivers of thid mon- 
strous scheme seem to me entitled to the first place in 
our distrust and abhorrence. I have seen some of 
those who are thought the best amongst the original 
rebels, and I have not neglected tlie means of beuig 
informed concerning the others. I can very truly 
say, that I have not found, by observation, or inquiry, 
that any sense of the evils produced by their projects 
has produced in them, or any 07ie of them, the small- 
est degree of repentance. Disappointment and mor- 
tification undoubtedly they feel ; but to thein repent- 
ance is a thing impossible. They are atheists. This 
wretched opiuion, by which they are possessed even 
to the height of fanaticism, leading them to exclude 

• The first object of thU club waa the propagation of Jacobin 
principlea. 



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488 



ON THE POLICT OF THE ALUES. 



from their ideas of a commonwealth the vital princi- 
ple of the physical, the moral, and the political world, 
engages them in a thousand absurd contrivances to 
fill up this dreadful void. Licapable of innoxious 
repose or honorable action or wise speculation in 
the lurking-holes of a foreign land, into which (in a 
common ruin) they are driven to hide their heads 
amongst the innocent victims of their madness, they 
ai-e at this very hour as busy in the confection of the 
dirt-pies of their imaginary constitutions as if they 
had not been quite fresh from destroying, by their 
impious and desperate vagaries, the finest country 
upon earth. 

It is, however, out of these, or of such as these, 
guilty and impenitent, despising the experience of 
others, and their own, that some people talk of 
choosing their negotiators with those Jacobins who 
tliey suppose may be recovered to a sounder mind. 
They flatter themselves, it seems, that the friendly 
habits formed during their original partnership of 
iniquity, a similarity of character, and a conformity 
in the groundwork of their principles, might facili- 
tate their c'.i version, and gain them over to some 
recognition of i-oyalty. But surely this is to read 
human nature very ill. The several sectaries in 
this schism of the Jacobins are the very last men 
in the world to trust each other. Fellowship in 
treason is a bad ground of confidence. The last 
quarrels are tlie sorest; and the injuries received 
or offered by your own associates are ever tiie most 
bitterly resented. The poople of France, of every 
name and description, would a thousand times sooner 
llsion tv the Prince de Cond<5, or to the Archbishop 
of Aix, or the Bishop of St. Pol, or to Monsieur de 




ON THE POUCT OP THE ALLIES. 



439 



CazalSs, than to La Fayette, or Dumounez, or the 
Vicomte de Noaillos, or the Bishop of Autun, or 
Necker, or his disciple Lally ToUcadal. Against 
the first description they have not the smallest am- 
mosity, beyond that of a merely political dissension. 
The others they regard as traitors. 

The first description is that of the Christian Roy- 
aUsts, men who as earnestly wished for reformation 
as they opposed innovation in the fundamental parts 
of their Church and State. Tlieir part has been very 
decided. Accordingly, they are to be set aside in the 
restoration of Church and State. It is an odd kind 
of disqualification, where the restoration of leligiou 
and monarchy is the question. If England should 
(God forbid it should !) fall into the same misfortune 
wiai France, and that the court of Vienna should 
undertake the restoration of our monarchy, I thnik 
it would be extraordinary to object to the admission 
of Mr Pitt or Lord GrenviUe or Mr. Dundas into 
any share in the management of that business, be- 
cause in a day of trial they hare stood up firm y and 
manfully, as I trust they always will do, and with 
disLinguishcd powers, for the monarchy and the legit- 
imate Constitution of their country. I am sure, if I 
were to suppose myself at Vienna at such a time, I 
should, as a man, as an Englishman, and as a Royal- 
ist, protest in that case, as I do in this, against a 
weak and ruinous principle of proceeding, which 
can have no other tendency than to make those 
who wish to support the crown meditate too pro- 
foundly on the consequences of the part they take, 
and consider whether for their open and forward 
zeal in the royal cause they may not bo thrust out 
from any sort of confidence and employment, where 
the interest of crowned heads is concerned. 



r* 








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1 




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.Jill 



440 



ON THE POLICY OP TRE ALUES. 



w 




These are the partiet. I have said, and said truly, 
that I kuuw of uo neutrals. But, as a general obser- 
vatiuu on this general principle of choosing neutrals 
ou such occasions as the present, I have this to 
say, that it amounts to neither mora uor less than 
this shocking proposition, — tliat we ought to exclude 
men of honor and ability from serving theirs and 
our cause, and to put the dearest interests of our- 
selves and our posterity into the hands of men of 
no decided character, without judgment to choose 
and witliout courage to profess any principle what- 
soever. 

Such men can serve no cause, fur this plain reason, 
— they have no cause at heart, fhcy can, at best, 
work ouly as mere mercenaries. They have not 
been guilty of great crimes ; but it is only because 
they have not energy of mind to rise to any height 
of wickoduess. They are not hawks or kites : they 
are only miserable fowls whose flight is not above 
their dunghill or hen-roost. But they tremljle before 
the authors of these horrors. They admire them at 
a safe and respectful distance. There never was a 
mean and abject mind that did not admire an in- 
trepid and dexterous villain. In the bottom of their 
hearts tlicy believe such hardy miscreants to bo the 
only men qualified for great afifairs. If you set tbo-.i 
to transact with such persons, thjy are instantly si;'>- 
dued. They dare not so much as look their antago- 
nist in the face. They are made to be their subjects, 
not to be their arbiters or controllers. 

These men, to bo sure, can look at atrocious acts 
without indignation, and can bcliold sutfering virtue 
without sympathy. Therefore they arc considered as 
sober, dispassionate men. But they have their pas- 



.A^ 



r 



on THE POUCT OP THE ALLIES. 441 

Bions. though of another kiud and which arc infi- 
nitely more likely to carry them out of the path 
of their duty. They are of a tamo tuuid, lau- 
Kuid, inert temper, wherever the welfare of other, 
rconcorned. In sueh causes, as thoy have no mo- 
tives to action, they never possess imy real ability, 
and are totally destitute of all resource. 

Believe a man who has seen much and observed 
something. I have seen, in the course of my lilo, a 
p-cat many of that family of men. They are gener- 
ally chosen because they have no opinion of their 
own; and as far as they can be got in good ear 
nest to embrace any opinion, it is that of whoever 
hapi.ens to employ them, (neither longer nor shorter, 
narrower nor broader,) with whom they have no dis- 
cussion or consultation. The only thing which oc 
curs to such a man, when he has got a business for 
others into his hands, is, how to make his own for- 
tune out of it. The person he is to treat with is not, 
with him, an adversary over whom he is to prevail, 
but a new friend ho is to gain; therefore he always 
systematically betrays some part of his trust. In- 
^Ld of thinking how he shall defend his ground 
to the last, and, if forced to retreat, how little ho 
shall give up, this kind of man considers how much 
of the interest of his employer he is to sacrifice to his 
adversary. Hav-ng nothing but himsclt in view, he 
knows, that, in serving his principal with zeal, he 
must probably incur some resentment from the oppo- 
site party. His object is, to oblain t'.e good-will of 
the person with whom he contends, that, when an 
agreement is made, he may join h: rewarding him. 
I would not take one of these as my arbitrator m 
a dispute for so much as a fish-pond; for, if he re- 



II 



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ON THE POLICY OP THE ALLIES. 




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served the mud to me, he would be sure to give the 
water that fed the pool to my adversary. In a great 
cause, I should certainly wish that my agent should 
possess conciliating qualities : that he should bo of a 
frank, open, and candid disposition, soft in his na- 
ture, and of a temper to soften animosities and to 
win confidence. He ought not to be a man odious 
to the person he treats with, by personal injury, by 
violence, or by deceit, or, above all, by the derelic- 
tion of his cause in any former transactions. But I 
would be sure tliat my negotiator should be mine, — 
that he should be as earnest in the cause as my- 
self, and known to be so, — that he sliould iiot be 
looked upon as a stipendiary advocate, but as a 
principled partisan. In all treaty it is a great 
point that all idea of gaining your agent is hope- 
less. I would not trust the cause of royalty with 
a man who, professing neutrality, is half a rei)ub- 
lican. The enemy has already a great part of his 
suit without a struggle, — and he contends with ad- 
vantage for all the rest. The common principle al- 
lowed between your adversary and your agent gives 
your adversary the advantage in every discussion. 

Before I shut up this discourse about neutral agen- 
cy, (which I conceive is not to be found, or, if found, 
ought not to be used,) I have a few other remarks to 
make on the cause which I conceive gives rise to it. 

In all that we do, whether in the struggle or after 
it, it is necessary tliat we sliould constantly have in 
our eye the nature and character of t)io enemy wo 
have to contend with. Tlie Jacoljin Revolution is 
carried on by men of no rank, of no consideration, 
of wild, savage minds, full of levity, arrogance, and 
presumption, without morals, without probity, with- 



::'•! 



ON THE POUCT OP THE ALUES. 



443 



out prudence. What have they, then, to supply their 
uuminerable defects, and to make them ternble even 
to the firmest minds ? One thing, and one thing only, 
__but that one thing is worth a thousand ;- thoy 
have energy. In France, all things being put into 
an universal ferment, in the decomposition of society, 
uo man comes forward but by his spirit f. e"t<^^P;7« 
and the vigor of his mind. If we meet this dreadful 
and nortentous energy, restrained by no considera- 
tion of God or man, that is always vigilant, always 
on the attack, that allows itself no repose, and suffers 
none to rest an hour with impunity, -if we meet this 
energy with poor commonplace proceeding, with triv- 
irmLims, paltry old saws, with doubts ^ears, and 
suspicions, with a languid, uncertam hesitation with 
a formal, official spirit, which is turned aside by 
every obstacle from its purpose, and which never sees 
a difficulty but to yield to it, or at best to evade it, - 
down we go to the bottom of the abyss, and noth- 
ing short of Omnipotence can save us. We must 
meet a vicious and distempered energy with a manly 
and rational vigor. As virtue is limited m its re- 
sources, we are doubly bound to use all that in 
the circle drawn about us by our morals we are 

able to command. ^ ^^ t. ♦ 

I do not contend against the advantages of distrust. 
In the world we live in it is but too necessary 
Some of old called it the very sinews of disci otion. 
But what signify commonplaces that always run 
parallel and equal? Distrust is good, or it i bad 
according to our position and our purpose. Distrus 
is a defensive principle. They who have much o 
lose have much to fear. But m France we hold 
noUiiug. We are to break in upon a power m pos. 



.M^ 



444 



ON THE POUCY OP iHE ALUES. 




-3 



session ; wo aro to carry everything by storm, or by 
surprise, or by intelligence, or by all. Adventure, 
therefore, and noi caution, is our policy. Here to 
be too presuming is the better error. 

The world will judge of the spirit of our proceed- 
ing in those places of France which may fall into our 
power by our conduct in those that are already in 
our hands. Our wisdom should not be vulgar. Other 
times, perhaps other measures ; but in this awful hour 
our politics ought to be made up of nothing but cour- 
age, decision, manliness, and rectitude. We should 
have all the magnanimity of good faith. This is a 
royal and commanding policy ; and as long as wo 
are true to it, we may give the law. Never can we 
assume this command, if we will not risk the conse- 
quences. For which reason we ought to be bottomed 
enougli in principle not to be carried away upon the 
first prospect of any sinister advantage. For depend 
upon it, that, if we once give way to a sinister deal- 
ing, we shall teach others the game, and we shall be 
outwitted and overborne ; the 'Spaniards, the Prus- 
sians, God knows who, will put u,^ under contribution 
at their pleasure ; and instead of being at the head 
of a great confederacy, and the arbiters of Euroi)e, 
we shall, by our mistakes, break up a great design 
into a tliousand little selfish quarrels, the enemy will 
triumph, and we shall sit down under the terms of 
unsafe and dependent peace, weakened, mortified, and 
disgraced, whilst all Europe, England included, is 
left open and defenceless on every part, to Jacobin 
principles, intrigues, and arms. In the case of the 
king of France declared to be our friend anu al- 
ly, we will stili bo considering ourselves in the con- 
tradictory character of an enemy. This contradic- 




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'"^HPff 



ON THE POLICY OP THE ALLIES. 



445 



tion I am afraid, will, in spite of us, give a color 
of fraud to all our transactions, or at lea^t will so 
complicate our politics that we shall ourselves bo 
inextricably entangled in them. ^ 

I have Toulon in my eye. It was with infimte 
sorrow I heard, that, in taking the king of France s 
fleet in trust, we instantly unrigged and d.smastcu 
the ships, instead of keeping them in a condition to 
escape in case of disaster, and m order to fnlli our 
trust -that is, to hold them for the use of the 
owner, and in the mean time to employ them for our 
common service. These ships are now so circum- 
stanced, that, if we are forced to evacuate ruulon, 
Uiey must fall into the hands of the enemy or be 
burnt by ourselves. I know this is by some consid- 
ered as a fine thing for us. But the Athenians oxight 
not to be better than the English, or Mr. Pitt less 
virtuous than Aristides. 

A-o we, then, so poor in resoiirces ihat wc can do 
no better with eighteen or twenty ships of tie line 
than to burn them? Had we sent for French Roy 
ali.t naval officers, of which some hnndreds are to 
be had, and made them select such seamen as tliey 
could trust, and filled the rest witli our own and 
Mediterranean seamen, which are all over Italy to 
be had by thousands, and put them under judicious 
English commanders-in-chief, and with a judicious 
L\ire of our own subordinates, tl- ^N e^t In^c. 
would at this ^ay have been ours It may be s^d 
that these French officers would take them for the 
king of France, and tliat tl-.y would not be ni our 
power. Be it so. Tlic islands would not be oui>, 
but they would not be Jacobinized. '^^l^^^' ^7" 
ever, a thing impossible. They must m elioct and 




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446 



ON THE POLICY OP THE ALLIES. 



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substance be ours. But all is upon that false princi- 
ple of distrust, which, not confiding in strength, can 
never have tlie full use of it. They that pay, and 
feed, and equip, must direct. But I must speak 
plain upon this subject. The French islands, if 
they were all our own, ought not to bo all kapt. 
A fair partition only ought to be made of those ter- 
ritories. This is a subject of policy very serious, 
which has many relations and aspects. Just here 
I only hint at it as answering an objection, whilst 
I state the mischievous consequences which suffer 
us to be surprised into a virtual breach of faith by 
confounding our ally with our enemy, because they 
both belong to the same geographical territory. 

My clear opinion is, that Toulon ought to be made, 
what we set out with, a royal French city. By the 
necessity of the case, it must be under the influence, 
civil and military, of the allien; But the only way 
of keeping that jealous and discordant mass from 
tearing its component parts to pieces, and hazarding 
the loss of the whole, is, to put the place into the 
nominal government of the regent, his officers being 
approvod by us. This, I say, is absolutely necessary 
for a poise amongst ourselves. Otherwise is it to 
be believed that the Spaniards, who hold that place 
with us in a sort of partnership, contrary to our mu- 
tual interest, will see us absolute masters of the Med- 
iterranean, with Gibraltar on one side and Toulon 
on the otlier, with a quiet and composed mind, whilst 
we do little less than declare that we are to take the 
whole West Indies into our hands, leaving the vast, 
unwieldy, and feeble body of the Spanish dominions 
in that part of the world absolutely at our mercy, 
without any power to balance us in the smallest do- 



4f U. 



ON THE POUCT OF THE ALLIES. 



447 



„ee? Nothing is so fatal to a nation as an extreme 
S self-partiality, and the total want of consicleration 
of what others will naturally hope or fear Spam 
iust think she sees that we are taking ^^vajvtag 
of the confusions which reign m France disable 
that country, and of course every co^^^^r;, om at- 
fording her protection, and in the end to turn the 
Spa^i monarchy into a province. If she saw hmgs 
in a proper point of light, to be s.vo, ^^^^^f^^^^' 
eonsiSer'any other ^^^^^^^^^Z:^^^ 

c:'i::::s:r:V^:X^ of them) a. 

v^^gar politicians. It i^ no wonder that they should 
pX e this great point, or balance it by considera- 
Tons of the common politics, that is the questions 
of power between state and state. If we manifestly 
en d'eavor to destroy the balance, especially the man- 
Le and commercial balanc ' m Europe and 
Twest Indies, (the latter tl. .re and vjUnerab e 
part,) from fear of what France may do for Spa n 
hereafter, is it to be wondered that Spam, infim ely 
teaker than we are, (weaker, indeed, than such a 
mass of empire ever was,) should feel the same fea s 
from our uncontrolled power that we give way to 
ourselves from a supposed resurrection of the an- 
cient pov:.- oi France under a monarchy? It s g- 
nifies nothing whether we are wrong or right m the 
abstract ; but in respect to our relation to ^Fl^'^"^ 
such principles followed up in practice, it is abso- 
lutely impossible that any cordial alliance can sab- 
Bist between the two nations. If Spam goes, ^aples 
will speedily follow. Prussia is qmte certain, and 
thinks of nothing but making a ^a^ket«f«ie present 
confusions. Italy is broken and divided. Switzer- 



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448 



ON THE POLICT OP THE ALLIES. 



land is Jacobinized, I am afraid, couipletely. I have 
long seen with pain the progress of French principles 
in that country. Tilings cannot go on upon the pres- 
ent bottom. The possession of Toulon, whicli, well 
managed, might be of the greatest advantage, will be 
the greatest misfortune that ever happened to this 
nation. The more wc multiply troops tliere, the 
more we shall multiply causes and means of quarrel 
amongst ourselves. I know but one way of avoid- 
ing it, which is, to give a greater degree of siniplici - 
to our politics. Our situation does necessarily r 
der them a good deal involved. And to this c% ' 
instead of increasing it, we ought to apply all t!it 
remedies in our power. 

See what is in that place the consequence (to say 
nothing of every other) of this complexity. Toulon 
has, as it were, two gates, — an English and a Spanish. 
The English gate is by our policy fast barred against 
the entrance of any Royalists. The Spaniards open 
theirs, I fear, upon no fixed principle, and with very 
little judgment. By means, however, of tliis foolish, 
mean, and jealous policy on our side, all the Royalists 
whom the English might select as most practicable, 
and most subservient to honest views, are totally ex- 
cluded. Of tbose admitted the Spaniards are mas- 
ters. As to the inhabitants, they are a nest of 
Jacobins, which is delivered into our hands, not from 
principle, but from fear. The inhabitants of Toulon 
may be described in a few words. It is differtum 
nautis, cauponibus atque malignis. The rest of the 
seaports are of the same description. 

Another thing which I oinnot account for is, the 
sending for the Bish i of Toulon and afterwards for- 
bidding his entrance. This is as directly contrary to 



ON THE POLICY OF THE ALLIES. 



449 



if 



the declaration as it is to the practice of the allied 
powers. The king of Prussia did better. When he 
took Verdun, he actually reinstated the bishop and 
hifc chapter. When he thought he should be the 
master of Chalons, he called the bishop from Flan- 
ders, to put him into possession. The Austrians 
have restored the cler.^y wherever they obtained pos- 
session. We have proposed to restore religion ai 
well as monarchy ; and in Toiilon we have restored 
neither the one nor the other. It is very likely that 
the Jacobin sang-culottes, or some of them, objected 
to this measure, who rather choose to have the athe- 
istic buffoons of clergy they have got to sport with, 
till they are ready to come forward, with the rest 
of their worthy brethren, in Paris and other places, 
to declare that they are a set of impostors, that they 
never believed in God, and never will preach any 
sort of religion. If we give way to our Jacobins in 
this point, it is fully and fairly putting the govern- 
ment, civil and ecclesiastical, not in the king of 
France, to whom, as the protector and governor, and 
in substance the head of the Galilean Church, the 
nomination to the bishoprics belonged, and who made 
the Bishop of Toulon, — it does not leave it with him, 
or even in the hands of the king of England, or the 
king of Spain, — but in the basest Jacobins of a low 
seaport, to exercise, pro tempore, the sovereignty. 
If this point of religion is thus given up, the grand 
instrument for reclaiming France is abandoned. We 
cannot, if we would, delude ourselves about the true 
state of this dreadful contest. It is a r gious war. 
It includes in its object, undoubtedly, every other 
interest of society as well as this ; but this is the 
principal and leading feature. It is through this 

VOL. IT. 29 



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450 



ON THE POLICY OF THE ALLIES. 



destruct; )n of religion that our enemies propose the 
accomplishment of all their other views. The French 
Revolution, impious ft once and fanatical, had no 
Other plan for domestic power and foreign empire. 
Look at all the proceedings of the National Assembly, 
from the first day of declaring itself such, in the year 
1789, to this very hour, and you will find full half of 
their business to be directly on this subject. In fact, 
it is the spirit of the whole. The religious system, 
called the Constitutional Church, is, on the face 
of the whole proceeding, set up only as a mere tem- 
porary amusement to the people, and so constantlj 
stated in all their conversations, till the time should 
come when they might with safety cast off the verj 
appearance of all religion whatsoever, and persecute 
Christianity throughout Europe with fire and sword 
The Constitutional clergy are not the ministers of anj 
religion : they are the agents and instruments of this 
horrible conspiracy against all morals. It was fron 
a sense of this, that, in the English addition to th( 
articles proposed at St. Domingo, tolerating all relig 
ions, we very wisely refused to suffer that kind oi 
traitors and buffoons. 

This religious war is not a controversy betweei 
sect and sect, as formerly, but a war against all sect 
and all religions. The question is not, whether yoi 
are to overturn the Catholic, to set up the Protestant 
Such an idea, in the present state of the world, is to 
contemptible. Our business is, to leave to the school 
the discussion of the controverted points, abating a 
much v.: we can the acrimony of disputants on al 
sides. It is for Christian statesmen, as the world i 
now circumstanced, to secure their common basis 
and not to risk the subversion of the whole fabri 



kind of 



ON THE POUCT OP THE ALLIES. 451 

by pursuing these distinctions with an ill-timed zeal. 
We have m the present grand alliance all modes of 
government, as well as all modes of re hgion la 
government, we mean to restore that which notwith- 
standing our diversity of forms, we are all agreed 
in as fundamental in government. Tlie same prin- 
ci,le ought to g^iide us in the religious part: con- 
forming the mode, not to our particular ideas, (for 
in that point wo have no ideas in common,) but to 
wliat will best promote the great, general ends of 
the alliance. As statesmen, we are to see which ot 
those modes best suits with the interests of such a 
commonwealth as we wish to secure and promote. 
There can be no doubt but that the Catholic relig- 
ion, which is fundamentally the religion of France, 
must go with the monarchy of France. We know 
that the monarchy did not survive the hierarchy, no, 
not even in appearance, tor many months,- in sub- 
stance not for a single hour. As little can it exist in 
futuio, if that pillar :s taken away, or even shattered 

and impairec' . , 

If it shovad please God to give to the allies the 
means of restoring peace and order in that focus of 
war and confusion, I would, as I said in the begin- 
nin- of this memorial, first replace the whole of the 
old clergy; because we have proof more than suffi- 
cient, that, whether they err or not in the scholastic 
disputes with us, they are not tainted with atheism 
the great political evil of the time. I hope I need 
not Tpologize for this phrase, as if I thought rehgion 
nothing but policy: it is far from my thoughts, and 
I hope it is not to be inferred from my expressions. 
But in the light of policy alone I am here consider- 
ing the question. I speak of policy, too, in a large 



I 



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II 11 



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452 



ON THE POUCT OP THE ALLIES. 



light; in which large light, policy, too, is a sacred 
thing. 

There are many, perhaps half a million or more, 
calling themselves Protestants, in the South of France, 
and in other of the provinces. Some raise thim to a 
much greater number ; but I think this nearer to the 
mark. I am sorry to say that they have behavcil 
shockingly since the very beginning of this reboUion, 
and have been uniformly concerned in its worst and 
most atrocious acts. Tlieir clergy are just tlie same 
atheists with those of the Constitutional Catholics, 
but still more wicked and daring. Three of theii 
number have met from their republican associates 
the reward of their crimes. 

As the ancient Catholic religion is to be restored 
for the body of France, the ancient Calvinistic ro 
ligion ought to be restored for the Protestants, will 
every kind of protection and privilege. But not one 
minister concerned in this rebellion ought to be suf 
fered amongst them. If they have not clergy of 
their own, men well recommended, as untainted wit! 
Jacobinism, by the synods of those places where Cal 
vinism prevails and French is spoken, ought to be 
sought. Many such there are. The Presbyteriai 
discipline ought, in my opinion, if be established ii 
its vigor, and the people professing it ought to be 
bound to its maintenance. No man, under the false 
and hypocritical pretence of liberty of conscience 
ought to be suffered to have no c^'^'^^ience at all 
The king's commissioner ought also to sit in theii 
synods, as before the revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes. I am conscious that this discipline disposei 
men to republicanism : but it is still a discipline, anc 
it is a cure (such as it is) for the perverse and undie 



ON THE POUCY OP THE ALUES. 



453 



ciplined habits which for some time have prevailed. 
Republicauism repressed may have its use ui the com- 
position of a state. luspection may be practicable, 
and responsibility iu the teachers and elders may be 
established, in such au hierarchy as the Pro.bytenaii. 
For a time like ours, it is a great poiut gamed, that 
people should be taught to meet, to combine, and to 
be c-assed and arrayed in some otUor way tlian in 
clubs of Jacobins. It - be not tl '.cl. mode of 
Protestantism under a monarchy, i i BtiU an o*-- 
derly Christian church, orthodox in the fundamen- 
tals, and, what is to our p.uit, capable enough ot 
rendering men v . Til citize.. . It was the impolitic 
abolition of their Scipliue, \vuich exposed them to 
the wild opinions and conduct that have prevailed 
amongst the Huguenots. The toleration in 1787 was 
owing to the good disposition of the late king ; but 
it was modided by the profligate folly of his atlieistic 
minister, the Cardinal de Lom^nie. This mischiev- 
ous minister did not follow, in the edict of toleration, 
the wisdom of the Edict of Nantes. But his toleration 
was granted to non- Catholics, — & dangerous word, 
which might signify anything, and was but too ex- 
pressive of a fatal indifrorence with regard to all 
pie< i speak for myself: I do not wish any man +o 
be CG^ erted from his sect. The distinctions which 
we have reformed from animosity to emulation may 
be even useful to the cause of religion. By some 
moderate contention they keep alive zeal. W hcreas 
people who change, except under strong conviction, 
(a thing now rather rare,) the religion of their ear- 
ly prejudices, especially if the conversion is brought 
about by any political machuie, are very apt to do- 
generate into indifference, laxity, and often downright 
atheism. 



4 



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454 



ON THE POLICT OP THE ALLIES. 



Another political question arises about the mode of 
government which ought to be established. I think 
the proclamation (which I read before I had pro- 
ceeded far in this memorial) puts it on the best foot- 
ing, by postponing that arrangement lo a time of 

peace. 

When our politics lead us to enterpnse a great 
and almost total political revolution in Europe, we 
ought to look seriously into the consequences of what 
we are about to do. Some eminent persons discover 
an apprehension that the monarchy, if restored in 
France, may be restored in too great strength for the 
liberty and happiness of the natives, and for the tran- 
quillity of other states. They are therefore of opin- 
ion that terms ought to be made for the modiEcation 
of that monarchy. They are persons too considera- 
ble, from the powers of their mind, and from their 
situation, as well as from the real respect I have for 
them, who seem to entertain these apprehensions, to 
let me pass them by unnoticed. 

As to the power of France as a state, and in its 
exterior relations, I confess my fears are on the part 
of its extreme reduction. There is undoubtedly 
something in the vicinity of France, which makes it 
naturally and properly an object of our watchfulness 
and jealousy, whatever form its government may take. 
But the difference is great between a plan for our 
own security and a scheme for the utter destruction 
of France. If there were no other countries in the 
political map but these two, I admit that policy might 
justify a wish to lower our neighbor to a standard 
which would even render her in some measure, if not 
wholly, our dependant. But the system of Europe is 
extensive and extremely complex. However formi- 



_SL= 



\ 



ON THE POUCT OP THE ALUES. 



455 



«nl a DOwer For Great Britain resolves that she 

rr*ousa„d miles -^f^^^::L 
might suhmit to lose ner i.um pnntrarv to 

all e-P«*''°"^; ""f J"* shouW remain i,. that 
tent go'«"""'«"'' °^X7,eS effort to recover her se- 
""r'^fcirtiirto'e Europe for a ceotur, ia 
rtd o!;a mat ha, it cost to France to maie 
, 7 *•„.. '^ What will it cost to recover it .' Aus 



1^ 



456 



ON THE POLICT OF THE ALUE3. 





J 



the Netherlands. But without her frontier France can- 
not secure herself. Austria has been, however, se- 
cure for an hundred years in those very Netherlands, 
and has never been dispossessed of them by the chance 
of war without a moral certainty of receiving them 
again on the restoration of peace. Her late dangers 
have arisen not from the power or ambition of the 
king of France. They arose from her own ill policy, 
which dismantled all her towns, and discontented all 
her subjects by Jacobinical innovations. She dis- 
mantles her own towns, and then says, " Give me the 
frontier of France ! " But let us depend upon it, what- 
ever tends, under the name of security, to aggrandize 
Austria, will discontent and alarm Prussia. Such 
a length of frontier on the side of France, separated 
from itself, and separated from the mass of the Aus- 
trian country, will be weak, ruless connected at the 
expense of the Elector of Ba^ aria (the Elector Pala- 
tine) and other lesser princes, or by such exchanges 
as will again convulse the Empire. 

Take it tlie other way, and let us suppose that France 
so broken in spirit as to be content to remain naked 
and defenceless by sea and by land. Is such a country 
no prey ? Have other nations no views ? Is Poland 
the only country of which it is worth while to make 
a partition ? "We cannot be so childish as to imagine 
that ambition is local, and that no others can be in- 
fected with it but those who rule within certain par- 
allels of latitude and longitude. In this way I hold 
war equally certain. But I can conceive that both 
these principles may operate: ambition on the part 
of Austria to cut more and more fronr. France ; and 
French impatience under her degraded and unsafe 
condition. In such a contest will the other powers 



ON THE POUCT OP THE ALLIES. 457 

staiid by? Will not Prussia call for indeinuity, aj 
S as Austria aud England? Is ^^^^ -t^sEed wxth 
Lr gains in Poland ? By no means. Germany mus 
pay or we shall infallibly see Prussia leagued wUl 
JrLe and Spain, and possibly with other power, for 
the reduction of Austria ; and such may be he sxtua- 
lion of things, that it will not be .0 easy to decido 
what part England may take in such a contest. 

I am well aware how invidious a task it is to op- 
nose anything which tends to the apparent aggran- 
dLement of our own country. But I think no conn- 
t y can be aggrandized whilst France is Jacobuuzed. 
Si post removed, it will be a serious question how 
fa her further reduction will contribute to th. gen- 
rll safety, which I always consider as included 
Among precautious against ambition, it may not be 
aiSss to take one precaution against our own. I 
Tst f^rly S.V, I dread our own power and our own 
"^^l dr'ead our being too much dreaded 
is ridiculous to say we are not men, and taat as 
irwe .hall never wish to aggrandize oursel ye m 
ZZZy or other. Can we say that even at this 
ve"y hour we arc not invidiously aggrandized ? We 
Ire already in possession of almost all the commerce 
of tl^ woihl. Our empire in India is an awful tlung. 
it "h uia come to be in a condition not only to 
have an this ascendant in commerce, but to l.al.o- 
utely able, without the least control, to hold the 
lommerce ^f all other nations totally dependent upon 
ouT go d pleasure, we may say that we shall not abuse 

rsLonishing and ^^therto -he-^'^^ ^^^^^^^^ f^^ 
every other nation will think we shall abu e it. It is 
Zoslo but that, sooner or later, this state of 
tWngs must produce a combination against us which 
mav end in our ruin 



% 

>3 



it/ 



458 



ON THE POUCY OP THE ALLIES. 



IB 




As to France, I must observe that for a long time 
she has been stationary. Slie has, during this whole 
century, obtained far less by conquest or negotiation 
than any of the tliree great Continental powers. Some 
part of Lorraine excepted, I recollect nothing she has 
gained,— no, not a village. Li truth, this Lorrauie 
acquisition does little more than secure her barrier. 
In effect and substance it was her own before. 

However that mny be, I consider these things at 
present chiefly in one point of view, as obstructions 
to the war on Jacobinism, which must stand as long 
as the powers think its extirpation but a secondary ob- 
ject, and think of taking advantage, under the name 
of indemnity and security, to make war upon the whole 
nation of France, royal and Jacobin, for the aggran- 
dizement of the allies, on the ordinary principles of 
interest, as if no Jacobinism existed in the world. 

So far is France from being formidable to its neigh- 
bors for its domestic strength, that I conceive it will 
be as much as all its neighbors can do, by a steady 
guaranty, to keep that monarchy at all upon its ba- 
sis. It will be their business to nurse France, not to 
exhaust it. France, such as it is, is indeed highly 
formidable : not formidable, however, as a great re- 
public ; but as the most dreadful gang of robbers and 
murderers that ever was embodied. But this dis- 
tempered strength of France will be the cause of pro- 
portionable weakness on its recovery. Never was a 
country so completely ruined ; and they who calcu- 
late the resurrection of her power by former exam- 
ples have not sufficiently considered what is the 
present state ^'' things. "Without detailing the in- 
ventory of what organs of government have been 
destroyed, together with tlie very materials of which 



ON THE POUCT OP TF- ALLIES. 



459 



alone they «an be recomposed, 1 wish it to bo con^d- 
td whJau operoso affair the whole ^7^- of Ux- 
atiou is ill the old states of Europe. It is such a. 
uevr could be made but in a long course of yea^.. 
lu France all taxes are abolished. The present pow- 
e^s resort to the capital, and to the capital m kmdL 
B^t a savage, undisciplined people - Jj -f ^^^ 
with more patience than an ^rnpost. 'S^^^^'^^^^,^ 
thpir habits and their dispositions. They consmer 
^^ranSnt, and as what, in their turn, they may ex- 
"Ise But th. tcrors 'T the present power are such 
as no re<mlar government can possibly employ. They 
who ent°er info Franco do not succeed o tharr. 
lurc-es They have not a system to reform, bu a 
syiom to beg 'n. The whole estate of government is 

^^mrSitdes this will meet with in a country 
e JausLd by th. taking of the capital, and among a 
pSplela manner new-principled t^^^^^ 
Sy disciplined to -rchy ;ebe^^^^^^^^^ 
imniptv may bo conceived by those wno *»■""" 

selves by revolving i.i tiieir tliouglits what «hoy 'vere 
r .fto fnr beyond a doubt: thr- the »ttlo.ueut 

-;;:ot^''i^--ii''-«'^\7;t:rr:igt 

Z rnn It. For such a preparatory goverumen^ 
f„ s^-paced. methodical formal, l^^^aJg 
tem, still less that of a showy, superBcal, trifliug, 



JJJ 



460 



ON THF "OLICT OF THE ALUES. 



Ill 





intriguing court, guided by cabals of ladies, or of 
men like ladies, least of all a pbUosopbic, theoretic, 
disputatious school of sophistry, — none of these ever 
will or ever can lay the foundations of an order that 
can last. Whoever claims a right by birth to govern 
there must find in his breast, or must conjure up in 
it, an energy not to be expected, perhaps not always 
to be wished for, in well-ordered states. The lawful 
prince must have, in everythmg but crime, the char- 
acter of an usurper. He is gone, if ho imagines 
himself the quiet possessor of a throne. He is to 
contend for it as much after an apparent conquest 
as before. His task is, to win it : he must leave pos- 
terity lO enjoy and to adorn it. No velvet cushions 
for him. He is to be always (I speak nearly to the 
letter) on horseback. This opinion is the result of 
much patient thinking on the subject, which I con- 
ceive no event is likely to alter. 

A valuable friend of mine, who I hope will con- 
duct these affairs, so far as they faU to his share, 
with great ability, asked me what 1 thought of acts 
of general indemnity and oblivion, as a means of set- 
tling France, and reconciling it to monarchy. Be- 
fore I venture upon any opinion of my own in this 
matter, I totally disclaiu! the interference of foreign 
powers in a business that properly belongs to the gov- 
ernment which we have declared legal. That gov- 
ernment is likely to be the best judge of what is to bo 
done towards the security of tliat kingdom, which it 
is their duty and their interest to provide for by such 
measures of justice or of lenity as at the time they 
should find best. But if we weaken it not only by 
arbitrary Umitations of our own, but preserve such 
persons in it as are disposed to disturb its future 



ON THE POLICV OF THE ALUES. 



461 



S by foreign authovity will owe not -g to ^u 
cletncncy. He -^all, and must, lo«\*^ fj^^ 
whom he is i:.d.bted for the power 3 ^^ ^[^'^ 
len^nfr it. A Jacobin faction, consiau ly fostered 
S the nourishment of foreign protection, wdl be 

'thistsire of securing the safety of the actor, in 
the present scene is owing to more lauda Ue motn • 

Ministers have been made to ^^^'^^^^ /Tr^e 
of the lute merciiul king, and the ^obiW of France 

iTJ No oneLtanee ot cruclt, » *« Pf^^'^ 
,l,e gentUmen e»er came to my ears U ■"™ *« 

other, by himself and his brethren, he says Who- 
ever sueeeeds in a civil «r will be ciu^ m> 
here the emigrants, flying to revenge m the c«s 
or military victory, wiU almo^ msatiably call tot 






ill 

E 



tiJ 



462 



OK THE POUCT OF TUE ALUES. 







their victims and their booty; and a body of em!' 
grant traitors were attending the Kii g of Prussia 
and the Dulce of Brunswick, to suggest the most 
sanguinary counsels." So says this wicked Jacobin ; 
but so cannot say the King of Pru">sia nor the Duke 
of Brunswick, who never did receive any sanguinary 
counsel ; nor did the king's brothers, or that great 
body of gentlemen who attended those princes, com- 
mit one single cruel action, or hurt tin person or 
property of one individual. It would be right to 
quote the instance. It is like the military luxury 
attributed to these unfortunate sufferers in ait com- 
mon cause. 

If these princes had shown a tyrannic disposition, 
it would be much to be lamented. "We have no oth- 
ers to govern France. If we screened the body of 
murderers from their justice, we should only leave 
the innocent in future to the mercy of men of fierce 
and sanguinary dispositions, of which, in spite of all 
our intermeddling in their Constitution, we could not 
prevent the effects. But as we have much more rea- 
son to fear their feeble lenity than any blamable rig- 
or, we ought, in my omnion, to leave t'le matter to 
themselves. 

If, however, I were asked to give an advice merely 
as such, here are my ideas. I am not for a total 
indemnity, nor a general punishment. And first, the 
body and mass of the people never ought to be treat- 
ed as criminal. Tliey may become an object of more 
or less constant watchfulness and suspicion, as their 
preservation may best require, but they can never be- 
come an object of punishment. This is one of tlie few 
fundamental and unalterable principles of politics. 

To punish them capitally would be to make massa- 



ON THE POUCT OF THE ALLIES. 



463 



cres. Massacres only increase the ferocity of men, 
and teach them to regard their own lives and those 
of others as of little value ; whereas the great policy 
of government is, to teach the people to think both of 
great importance in the eyes of God and the state, 
and never to be sacrificed or even hazarded to grati- 
fy their passions, or for anything but the duties pre^ 
scribed by the rules of morality, and under the direc- 
tion of public law and public authority. To punish 
them with lesser penalties would be to debilitate tlie 
commonwealth, and make the nation miserable, which 
it is the business of government to render happy and 

flourisning. 

As to crimes, too, I would draw a strong Ime ot 
limitation. For no one oSencQ, politically an offence 
of rebellion, by council, contrivance, persuasion, or 
compulsion, for none properly a military offence of 
rebellion, or anything done by open hostility m the 
field, should any man at all be called in question ; 
because such seems to be the proper and natural 
death of civil dissensions. The offences of war are 

obliterated by peace. , , , . .u 

Another class will of course be included m the 
indemnity, -namely, all those who by their activity 
in restoring lawful government shall obliterate their 
offences. Tlie offence previously known, the accept- 
ance of service is a pardon for crimes. I fear that 
this class of men will not be very numerous. 

So far as to indemnity. But where are the objects 
of justice, and of example, and of future security to 
the public peace? They are naturally pointed out, 
not by their having outraged political and civil laws, 
nor their having rebelled against the state as a state, 
but by their having rebelled against the law of Na- 



i</ 



464 



ON THE POUCT OF THE AUJES. 



... J 1 


in ^ 






^ilHI 


IB ^ 


'^■' 


i ^- 


i^^B 


m 1 






nH^^^I 


IS f 


^3^^^H 


H 


^^^^^H 


n 






W^K 


In ' 




^B ;r 




l! 



■' 'J 




?l ! 



ture and outraged man as man. In this list, all the 
regicides in general, all those who laid sacrilegious 
hands on the king, who, without anything in their 
own rebellious mission to the Conrention to justify 
them, brought him to his trial and unanimously 
voted him guilty, — all those who had a share in the 
cruel murder of the queen, and the detestable pro- 
ceedings with regard to the young king and the 
unhappy princesses, — all those who committed cold- 
blooded murder anywhere, and particularly in their 
revolutionary tribunals, where every idea of natural 
justice and of their own declared rights of man have 
b'^en trod under foot with the most insolent mockery, 
— all men concerned in the burning and demolition 
of houses or chuiches, with audacious and marked 
acts of sacrilege and scorn offered to religion, — in 
general, all the leaders of Jacobin clubs, — not one of 
these should escape a punishment suitable to the na- 
ture, quality, and degree of their offence, by a steady, 
but a measured justice. 

In the first place, no man ought to be subject to 
any penalty, from the highest to the lowest- but by a 
trial according to the course of law, carried on with 
all that caution and deliberation which has been used 
in the best times and precedents of the French juris- 
prudence, the criminal law of which country, faulty 
to be sure in some particulars, was highly laudable 
and tender of the lives of men. In restoring order 
and justice, everything like retaliation ought to be 
religiously avoided ; and an example ought to be set 
of a total alienation from the Jacobin proceedings in 
their accursed revolutionary tribunals. Everything 
like lumping men in masses, and of forming tables 
of proscription, ought to be avoid^^ 




ON THE POLICT OF THE ALUES. 



465 



In all these punishmeuts, anything which can be 
alleged in mitigation of the offence Bhould ho fully 
coasidered. Mercy is not a thing opposed to justice. 
It is an essential part of it,— as necessary in criminal 
cases as in civil affairs equity is to law. It > only 
for the Jacobins never to pan! .11. Thoy have not 
done it in a single instance. A council of mercy 
ought therefore to be appointed, with powers to re- 
port on each case, to soften the penalty, or entirely 
to remit it, according to circumstances. 

With these precautions, the v.try first foundation 
of settlement must be to call to a strict account those 
bloody and merciless offenders. Without it, govern- 
ment cannot stand a year. People littlo consider 
the utter impossibility of getting those who, having 
emerged from very low, some from the lowest classes 
of society, havo exercised a power so high, and with 
such unrelenting and bloody a rage, quietly to fall 
back into their old ranks, and become humble, peace- 
able, laborious, and useful members of society. It 
never can be. On the other hand, is it to be be- 
lieved that any worthy and virtuous subject, re- 
stored to the ruins of his house, will with patience 
see the cold-blooded murderer of his father, mother, 
wife, or children, or perh- "U of these relations, 
(such things have been,) m in his own village, 

and insult him with tht ..les acquired from the 
plunder of his goods, ready again to head a Jacobin 
faction to attack his life? He is unworthy of the 
name of man who would suffer it. It is unv,. rchy 
of the name of a government, which, taking justice 
out of the private hand, will not exercise it for the 
injured by the public arm. 
I know it sounds plausible, and is readily adopted 



VOL. IT. 



30 



466 



ON THB POUCT OF THB ALL«S. 



Il 



'^'a*5» 



\ I 



' I 



J 



• •^'" 



t-A 



by those who have little eympathy with the stifferiiigs 
of others, to wish to jumble thr innocent and guilty 
into one mass by a general indemnity. This crael 
indifference dignifies itself with the nam. of human- 

ity. 

It is extraordinary, that, as the wicked arts of this 
regicide and tyrannous faction increase in number, 
variety, and atrocity, the desire of punishing them 
becomes more and more faint, and the talk of an 
indemnity towards them every day stronger and 
stronger. Our ideas of justice appear to be fairly 
conquered and overpowered by guilt, when it is 
grown gigantic. It is uot the point of view in which 
we are in the habit of viewing guilt. The crimes we 
every day punish are really below the penalties we 
inflict. The criminals are obscure and feeble. This 
is the view in which we see ordinary crimes and crim 
inals. But when guilt is seen, though but for a time, 
to be furnished with the arms and to be invested with 
the robes of power, it seems to assume another na^ 
ture, and to get, as it were, out of our jurisdiction. 
This I fear is the case with many. But there is an- 
other cause full as powerful towards this security to 
enormous guilt, — the desire which possesses people 
who have once obtained power to enjoy it at their 
ease. It is not humanity, but laziness and inertness 
of mind, which produces the desire of this kind of in- 
demnities. This description of men love general and 
short methods. If they punish, they make a promis- 
cuous massacre ; if they spare, tliey make a general 
act of oblivion. This is a want of disposition to pro- 
ceed lalioriously according to the cases, and accord- 
ing to the rules and principles of justice on each case : 
a want of disposition to assort criminals, to discnmi- 



i •.-■ 



ON THE POLICT Of THE ALLIES. 



467 



nate the degrees and modes of giiilt, to separate ao- 
complices from principals, leaders from followers, 
seducers from the seduced, and then, by following 
the same principles in the same detail, to class pun- 
ishments, and to fit them to the nature and kind of 
the delinquency. If that wer: once attempted, wo 
should soon see that the task was neither infinite 
nor the execution cruel. There would be deaths, 
but, for the number of criminals aud the extent of 
Prance, not many. There would be -ases of trans- 
portation, cases of labor to restore aat has been 
wickedly destroyed, cases of imprisonment, and cases 
of mere exile. But be this as it n.ay, I am sure, that, 
if justice is not done there, there can be neither peace 
nor justice there, nor in any part of Europe. 

History is resorted to for other acts of indemnity 
ia other times. The princes are desired to look back 
to Henry the Fourth. We are desired to look to the 
restoration of King Charles. These things, in my 
opinion, have no resemblance whatsoever. Thoy 
were cases of a civil war, — in Frams more ferocious, 
in England more moderate than crmmon. In neither 
country were the orders of society subverted, relig- 
ion ?nd morality destroyed on principle, or property 
totally annihilated. In England, the government of 
Cromwell was, to be sure, somewhat rigid, but, for a 
new power, no savage tyranny. The country was 
nearly as well in his hands as in those of Charles the 
Second, and in some points much better. Tlie laws 
in general had their course, and were admiraVily ad- 
ministered. The king did not in reality grant an act 
of indemnity ; the prevailing power, then in a man- 
ner the nation, in effect granted an indemnity to him. 
The idea of a preceding rebellion was not at all ad- 



ii 



/J 



('■ i, i J 



- ■j-.Ja-fmS. ' 



'-. I 



468 



ON THE POLICY OP THE ALLIES. 



mitted in that convention and that Parliament. The 
regicides were a common enemy, and as such given 

up. , 

Among the ornaments of their place which emi- 
nently distinguish them, few people are better ac- 
quainted with the history of their own country than 
the illustrious princes now in exile ; but I caution 
them not to be led into error by that which has been 
supposed to be the guide of life. I would give the 
same caution to aU princes. Not that I derogate from 
the use of history. It is a great improver of the un- 
derstanding, by showing both men and affairs in a 
great variety of views. From this source much polit- 
ical wisdom may be learned, - that is, may be learned 
as habit, not as precept, — and as an exercise to 
strengthen the mind, as furnishing materials to en- 
large and enrich it, not as a repertory of cases and 
precedents for a lawyer: if it were, a thousand times 
better would it be that a statesman had never learned 
to read, — vellem nescirmt literas. This method turns 
their understanding from the object before them, and 
from the present exigencies of the worid, to compar- 
isons with former times, of which, after all, we can 
know very little and very imperfectly; and our 
guides, the historians, who are to give us their true 
interpretation, are often prejudiced, often ignorant, 
often fonder of system than of truth. Whereas, if a 
man with reasonable good parts and natural sagacity, 
and not in the leading-strings of any master, will look 
steadily on the business before him, without being 
diverted by retrospect and comparison, ho may be 
capable of forming a reasonable good judgment of 
what is to be done. There are some fundamental 
points in which Nature never changes ; but they are 



ON THE POUCY OP THE ALUr?. 



469 



few and obvious, and belong rather to morals than to 
politics. But so far as regards political matter, the 
human mind and human affairs are susceptible of 
infinite modifications, and of combinations wholly new 
and unlooked-for. Very few, for instance, could have 
imagined that property, which has been taken for nat- 
ural dominion, should, through the whole of a vast 
kingdom, lose all its importance, and even its mtlu- 
ence This is what history or books of speculation 
could hardly have taught us. How many could have 
thought that the most complete and formidable rev- 
olution in a great empire should be made by men ot 
letters, not as subordinate instruments and trumpet- 
ers of sedition, but as the chief contrivers and man- 
agers, and in a short time as the open admmistrators 
and sovereign rulers? Who could have imngined 
that atheism could produce one of the most violently 
operative principles of fanaticism ? Who could have 
imagined, that, in a commonwealth in a manner cra- 
dled in war, and in an extensive and dreadful war, 
military commanders should be of little or no ac- 
count, -that the Convention should not contain one 
military man of name, -that administrative bodies, 
in a state of the utmost confusion, and of out a mo- 
mentary duration, and composed of men with not one 
imposing part of character, should be able to govern 
the country and its armies with an authority which 
the most settled senates and the most respected mon- 
archs scarcely ever had in the same degree? This, 
for one, I confess I did not foresee, though all the 
rest was present to me very early, and not out of my 
apprehension even for several years. 

I believe very few were able to enter into the ef- 
fects of mere terror, as a principle not only for the 



I 






.//J 



470 



ON THE POUCT OF THE AIXIES. 






support of power in given hands or forms, but in 
those things in which the soundest political specula- 
tors were of opinion that the least appearance of 
force would be totally destructive, — such is the mar- 
ket, whether of money, provision, or commodities of 
any kind. Yet for four yeai's we have seen loans 
made, treasuries supplied, and armies levied and 
maintained, more numerous than Franco ever showed 
in the field, by the effecti of fear alone. 

Here is a state of things of which in its totality if 
history furnishes any examples at all, they are very 
remote and feeble. I therefore am not so ready as 
some are to tax with folly or cowardice those who 
were not prepared to meet an evil of this nature. 
Even now, after the events, all the causes may be 
somewhat difficult to ascertain. Very many are, how- 
ever, traceable But these things history and books 
of speculation (as I have already said) did not teach 
men to foresee, and of course to resist. Now that 
they are no longer a matter of sagacity, but of expe- 
rience, of recent experience, of our own experience, 
it would be unjustifiable to go back to the records of 
other times to instruct us to manage what they never 
enabled us to foresee. 



J 



APPENDIX. 



EXTBACTS FROM VATTEL'S LAW OF NATIONS. 

[The Titles. Marginal Abstracts, and Note, are by Mr B'ikke, 
excepting such of the Note. a. are here disungni.hed.] 

CASES OF INTEBFEBENCB WITH INLK. MDENT POWERS. 

« TF, then, there is anywhere a nation of a.resUes» 
1 and mischievous disposition, always ready to m- 
jure others, to traverse their designs, ««^/^/«f^'^- 
'rnestic trovhles,* it is not to be doubted that all have 
a right to join in order to repress, chastise, and put 
it ever after out of its power to injure them, buch 
should be the just fruits of the policy which Machia. 
vel praises in Casar Borgia. The conduct followed 
by Philip the Second, King of Spain, was adapted to 
unite all Europe against him; and it was from just 
reasons that Henry the Great formed the design of 
humbling a ^o^er formidable by its forces and per- 
nicious by its maxims." - Book II. ch. iv. § 53. 

"Let us apply to the unjust what we have said 
above (§ 53) of a mischievous or maleficent na- 
tion If there be any that makes an open profes- 
sion of trampling justice under foot, of despising and 

• ThU is the case of France :- SemonviUe at Turin.- .acobin 
clubs, -Liegeois meeting. - Flemish meeting, -La Fayet^s an- 
gwer, — Clootz's embassy, — Avignon. 



R 



» 



iil 



472 



ON THE POUCY OP THE ALUES. 



Violating the right of others,* wheneTer it finds an op- 
portunity, the interest of human society ; - ' authorize 
all others to unite in order to humble and chastise it. 
We do not here forgot the maxim established in our 
preliminaries, that it does not belong to nations to 
usurp the power of being judges of each other. In 
particular cases, liable to the least doubt, it ought 
to be supposed that each of the parties may have 
some right; and the injustice of tliat which has 
committed the injury may proceed from error, and 
not from a general contempt of justice. £u. if 
hy constant maxims, and by a continued conduct, one 
nation shows that it has evidently this pernicious 
disposition, and that it considers no right as sa- 
cred, the safety of the human race requires that it 
should be suppressed. To form and support an un- 
just pretension is to do an injury not only to him who 
is interested in this pretension, but to mock at justice in 
general, and to iyijure all nations." — Ibid. ch. v. § 70. 
agJa^" " ^^ *^^® prince, attacking the fundamen- 

tyranny. tal laws, givcs his subjccts a legal riglit 
to resist him, if tyranny, becoming insupportable, 
obliges the nation to rise in their defence, every 
foreign power has a right to succor an oppressed 
people who implore their assistance. The English 
E^^uih justly complained of James the Second. 
EeToiuUon. TJie noUUty and the most distinguished pa- 
triots resolved to put a check on his enterprises, 
which manifestly tended to overthrow the Constitu- 
tion and to destroy the liberties and the religion of 
the people, and therefore applied for assistance to the 
United Provinces. The authority of the Prince of 

• The French acknowledge no power not directly emanating from 
the people. 



APPENDIX. 



473 



Orange had, doubtless, an. influence on the delibera- 
tions of the States-General; but it did not make 
them commit injustice: for when a people, from 
good reasons, take up arms against an oppressor, 
justice and generosity require that brave men should 
be assisted in the defence of their liberties. Whenever, 
therefore, a civil war is kindled in a state, c»Mofoivu 
foreign powers may assist that party w'aich 
appears to them to have justice on their side. Ss 
who assists an odious tyrant, he who declares ^^^"^ 

FOR AN UNJUST AND REBELLIOUS PEOPLE, EebelUoM 

tKodo 

offends against his duty. When the bauds of 

the political society are broken, or at least suspended 

between the sovereign an his people, they sovereign 

^ * , and his 

may then be cousideret' o distinct pow- P«opie, 

* 1 n ^l o when ai*» 

ers ; and sinco eacn is iu ndent of all for- uuot 

, , _ powers* 

eign authority, nobody ha^ a right to judge 
them. Either may be in the right, and each of those 
who grant their assistance may believe that he sup- 
ports a good cause. It follows, then, in virtue of the 
voluntary law of nations, (see Prelim. § 21,) that 
the two parties may act as having an equal rif-ht, and 
behave accor Jingly, till the decision of tlie aftair. 

" But we ought not to abuse this maxim n^J/J'^J*^ 
for authorizing odious proceedings against anexuem*. 
the tranquillity of stages. It is a violation of the law 
of natioj • '■' persuade those subjects to revolt En^eaTOrto 
who actually obey their sovereign, though they Bui-jccwtoa 
complain of his government. 

"The practice of nations is conformable to our 
maxims. When the German Protestants came to the 
assistance of the Reformed in Prance, tiie court never 
undertook to treat tiiem otherwise than as common 
enemies, and according to the laws of wax France 



f 



€ 



M 




■l.;^ 



■3 



474 



ON THE POUCT OF THE ALUB8. 



•zolte lab 
JwUton 
▼oU. 



Xjnntt. 



at the same time assisted the Netherlands, which 
took up arms against Spain, and did not pretend that 
her troops should be considered upon any otlier foot- 
in:^ than as auxiliaries in a regular war. But no 
Attempt to power ovoids complaining of an atrocious in- 
jury, if any one attempts by his emissaries to 
excite his subjects to revolt. 

"As to those monsters, »ho, under the 
title of sovereigns, render themselves the 
Bcoiirges and horror of the human race, — these are 
savage beasts, from which every brave man may 
justly purge the earth. All antiquity has praised 
Hercules for delivering the world from an Ant»us, 
a Busiris, and a Diomedes." — Ibid. ch. iv. § 56. 

After stating that nations have no right to inter- 
fere in domestic concerns, he proceeds,—" But this 
rule does not preclude them from espousing the quar- 
rel of a dethroned king, and assisting him, if he ap- 
pears to have justice on his side. They then declare 
themselves enemies of the nation which has acknowl- 
edged his rival ; as, when two different nations are at 
war, they are at liberty to assist that whose quarrel 
they shall think has the fairast appearance." — Book 
IV. ch. ii. § 14. 

CASE OP ALUANCES. 

" It is asked if that alliance subsists with the king 
and the royal family when by some revolution they 
are deprived of their crown. We have lately re- 
marked, ( § 194,) that a personal alliance expires with 
the reign of him who contracted it : but that is to 
be understood of an alliance with the state, limited, as 
to its duration, to the reign of the contracting king. 
This of which we are here speaking is of another na- 



APPENDIX. 



475 



ture. For though it binds the state, smce ^^^ 
it is bound by aU the public acts of its sov- j^SpiiSf 
ereign, it is made directly in favor of the 
king and his family; it would therefore be absurd 
for it to terminate at the moment when they have 
need of it, and at an event agaimt which it was m^ie. 
Besides, the kuig does not lose his quality f^fj^ 
merely by the loss of his kingdom, ff he is ^^^l^*>r 
stripped of it unjustly by an usurper, or by bi.kinga«n^ 
rebels, he preserves his rights, in the number of which 
are his alliances.* 

« But who shall judge if the ki- , be dethroned 
lawfully or by violence? An independent nation 
acknowledges no judge. If the body of the nation 

• By the seventh article of the Treaty of Tbiplb Alliancb, be- 
tween France, England, and Holland, signed at the Hague, m the 
year 1717, it is stipulated, " that, if the kingdoms, countries, or prov 
inces of any of the allies are disturbed by intestine quarrels, or b) 
reMim,, on account of the said mx^m< (the Protestant succession 
to the throne of Great Britain, and the succession to the throne of 
France, as settled by the Treaty of Utrecht.) "or under any other pretext 
v^atever, the ally thus in trouble shall have full right to demand of 
his allies the succors above mentioned" : that is to say, the same suc- 
cors as in the case of an invasion from any foreign power, - 8,000 foot 
and 2.000 horse to be furnished by France or England, and 4,000 foot 
and 1,000 horse by the States-General. 

By the fourth article of the Treaty of QcADRnPLU Alliance, 
between England, France, Holland, and the Emperor of Germany, 
signed in the year 1718, the contracting powers "promise and obhge 
themselves thaf they will and ought to maintain, guaranty. u..d defend 
the right of succession in the kingdom of France, accordn.ir to the 
tenor of the treaties made at Utrecht the 11th day of Aj.nl, 1713; 
... and this they shall perform ayaimi all persons u-hatsuever uho may 
presume to disturb 'the order of the said succession, in contradiction to the 
previous acta and treaties subsequent thereon. " 

The above treaties have been revived and confirmed by every snb- 
sequent treaty of peace between Great Britain and France. - Edit. 



476 



ON THE POUCT OF THE ALUES. 



i 





declares the king deprived of his rights by the abuse 
he has made of them, and deposes him, it may justly 
do it when its grievances are well founded, and no other 
power has a right to censure it. The personal ally 
of tiiis king ought not then to assist him against the 
nation that has made use of its right in deposing 
him : if he attempts it, he injures that nation. Eng- 
land declared war against Louis the Fourteenth, in 
the year 1688, for supporting the interest of James 
the Second, who was deposed in form by the nation. 
The same country declared war against him a second 
time, at the beginning of the present century, because 
that prince acknowledged the son of the deposed 
James, under the name of James the Third. In 
Case where- doubtful CBscs, and wkcn the body of the 
be gi«° w Tiation has not pronounced, or OAS NOT PRO- 
adepoKd jiQUjfCED FREELY, a sovereign may natu- 
rally support and defend an ally ; and it is then tl\at 
the voluntary law of nations subsists between different 
states. The party that has driven out the kuig pre- 
tends to have right on its side ; this unhappy king 
and his ally flatter themselves with having the same 
advantage ; and as they have no common judge upon 
earth, they liave no other method to take but to ap- 
ply to arms to terminate the dispute ; they therefore 
engage in a formal war. 

Not obliged "In short, when the foreign prince has 
hi/'rijwbe. faithfully fulfilled his engagements towards 
bSS'pSirt'" an unfortunate monarch, when he lias done 
in his defence, or to procure his restoration, all he 
was obliged to perform in virtue of the alliance, if 
his efforts are ineffectual, the dethroned prince can- 
not require him to support an endless war in his fa- 
vor, or expect that he will eternally Tcmain the enemy 



APPENDIX. 



477 



of the nation or of the sovereign who has depnved 
him of tlie tlirone. He mu.t think of peace aban- 
don the ally, and consider him as havmg himself 
abandoned l.is right through necessity Thus Loms 
the Fourteenth was obliged to abandon James the 
Second, and to acknowledge King William, though 
he had at first treated him as an usurper. 

" The same question presents itself in real alliances, 
an^, in general, in all alliances made with the state, 
and not in particular with a king for the defen^ 
of his person. An ally ought, doubtless, to be do- 
fended against every invasion, against every foreign 
violence, and even against U» rebellious sub- o^^ 
jects: in the same manner a republic ought ^^^ 
to be defended against the enterprises of one 
r,ho attempts to destroy the public hbertg But it 
Tught to be remembered that an ally of the state or 
J nation is not its judge. If the nation has de- 
posed its king in form, -if the people of a repubhc 
hive driven out their magistrates and set themselves 
at liberty, or acknowledged the authority of an usurp- 
er, either expressly or tacitly, - to oppose these domes- 
tic regulations, by disputing their justice or validity, 
would be to interfere in the government of the na- 
Uon, and to do it an injury. (See § 4, and foUow- 
i„K of this Book.) The aUy remains the a ly of the 
stSe, notwithstanding the change that has happened 
in it Sowever, when this change retiders the ca- -^^ 
alliance useless, dangerous, or disagreeable, it r>j.y^ 
may renounce it; for it may say, upon a 
good foundation, that it would m>t have entered w . 
an alUance with that nation, had it been under the 
present form of government. 

" We may say here, what we have said on a per- 



il ' 



.^d^i^isssi/wnmssei'- 



478 



OV THS POUCT OF THE AUAta. 



sonal alliance : however just the cause of that king may 
be who is driven from the throne, either by his sub- 
jects or by a foreign usurper, his allies are not obliged 
Hot Ml tier- to support an eternal war in his fevor. Af- 
"*" "" ter having made ineffectual efforts to restore 
him, they must at length give peace to their people, 
and come to an accommodation with the usurper, and 
for that purpose treat with him as with a lawful sov- 
ereign. Louis the Fourteenth, exhausted by a bloody 
and unsuccessful war, offered at Qertruydenberg to 
abandon his grandson, whom he had placed on the 
throne of Spain ; and when affairs had changed their 
appearance, Charles of Austria, the rival of Philip, 
saw himself, in his turn, abandoned by his allies. 
They grew weary of exhausting their atates in order 
to give him the possession of a crown which they be- 
lieved to be his due, but which, to all appearance, 
they should never be able to procure for him." — 
Book II. ch. xii. S§ 196, 197. 



J 



a ,i' 






All nattont 
may Join. 



DANGEROUS POWEB. 

" It is still easier t" prove, that, should 
this formidable power betray any unjust and 
ambitious dispositions by doing the least injustice to 
another, every nation may avail themselves of the 
occasion, and join their forces to those of the party 
injured, in order to reduce that ambitious power, and 
disable it from so easily oppressing its neighbors, or 
keeping them in continual awe and fear. For an in- 
jury gives a nation a right to provide for its future 
safety by taking away from tlie violator the means of 
oppression. It is lawful, and even praiseworthy, to 
assist those who are oppressed, or unjustly attacked." 
— Book in. ch. iii. § 45. 



'W 



APPENDIX. 



479 



BY8TEM OP EUBOPl. 

•' Europe forms a political system, a body where 
the whole is connected by the relations and dif- 
ferent interests of nations inhabiting this part of the 
world. It is not, as anciently, a confused heap of 
detached pieces, each of which thought itself very lit- 
tie concerned in the fate of others, and seldom re- 
garded things which did not immediately relate to it. 
The continual attention of sovereigns to wl.nt is on 
the carpet, the constant residence of ministers, and 
the perpetual negotiations, make Europe a kind of a 
republic, the members of which, though inde- ^^^ 
percent, unite, through the ties of common in- ^^^p«^ 
tere8t,for the maintenance of order and liberty, uben,. 
Hence arose that famous scheme of the political equi- 
librium, or balance of power, by which is understood 
Buch a disposition of things as no power is able abso- 
lutely to predominate or to prescribe laws to others. 
— Booklll. ch. iii. §47. 

" Confederacies would be a sure way of preserving 
the equilibrium, and supporting the liberty of na- 
tions, did all princes thoroughly understand their 
true interests, and regulate all their steps for the 
good of the state." — Ibid. § 49. 

CONTRIBUTIONS IN THE ENEMY'S COUNTBT. 

« Instead of the pillage of the country and defence- 
less places, a custom has been substituted more hu- 
mane and more advantageous to the sovereign making 
war- I mean that of contributions. Whoever car- 
ries on a just war* has a right of making the enemy s 

* Contributions raised by the Duke of Brunswick in France. 
Co„,pare these with the contributions raised by the French .n the 
Netherlands. — Edit. 



I 



480 



ON THE POUCT OF THE ALUE8. 



:a i 



^ 

^^, 







country contribute to the tupport of the army, and to- 
wardt defraying all the charges of the war. Thus he 
obtains a part of what is due to him, and the subjects 
of the enemy, on submitting to this imposition, are 
secured from pillage, and the country is preserved. 
But a general who would not sully his reputation is 
Tobt to moderate his contributions, and propor- 

tion them to those on wliom they are im- 
posed. An excess in tlu^ point is not without the 
reproach of cruelty and inhumanity : if it shows less 
ferocity than ravage and destruction, it glares with 
avarice." — Book III. ch. ix. § 166. 

ASYLUM. 

" If an exile or banished man is driven from his 
country for any crime, it does not belong to the na- 
tion in which he has taken refuge to punish him for 
a fault committed in a foreign country. For Nature 
gives to mankind and to nations the right of piinish- 
ing only for their defence and safety (§ 169) : whence 
it follows that he can only be punished l)y those he 
has offended. 

"But this reason shows, that, if the justice of 
each nation ought in general to bo confined to the 
punishment of crimes committed in its own terri- 
tories, we ought to except from this rule the villains 
who, by tlio quality and habitual frequency of their 
crimes, violate all public security, and declare them- 
selves the enemies of the human race. Poisoners, 
assassins, and incendiaries by profession may be ex- 
terminated wherever they are seized ; for they attack 
and injure all nations by trampling under foot the 
foundations of their common safety. Thus pirates are 
brought to the gibbet by the first into whose hands 



Sfiifiia 



APPENDIX. 



481 



they fall. If tlie sovereign of the country where 
crimes of that nature have been committed reclaims 
the authors of them in order to bring them to punish- 
ment, they ought to be restored to him, as to one who 
is prineipallu interested in punishing them in an ex- 
emplary manner: and it being proper to convict the 
guilty, and to try them according to some form ot 
law, this is a iiecond [not sole] reason why malefac- 
tors are usually delivered up at the desire of Uie 
state wiiere iheir crimes liavo been committed." — 
Book I. ch. xix. §§ 232, 233. 

« Every nation has a right of refusing to admit a 
stranger into the country, when he cannot enter it 
without putting it in evident danger, or without do- 
ing it a remarkable prejudice." * — Ibid. § 230. 

FOBEIQN MINISTEBS. 

" The obligation does not go so far as to suffer at 
all times perpetual ministers, who are desirous of re- 
siding with a sovereign, though they have notliing to 
negotiate. It is natural, indeed, and very agreeable 
to the sentiments which nations owe to each other, 
that these resident ministers, ivhen there is nothing to 
be feared from their stay, should be friendly received ; 
but if there be any solid reason against this, what is 
for the good of the state ought unquestionably to be 
preferred : and the foreign sovereign cannot take it 
amiss, if his minister, who has concluded the affairs of 
his commission, and has no other affairs to negotiate, 
be demred to depart.f The custom of keeping every- 

• The third article of the Treaty of Triple Alliance and the lat- 
tf part of the fourth article of the Treaty of Quadruple Alliance 
BtipuUte, that no kind of refuge or protection shall be given to re- 
bellions subjects of the contracting powers. — Edit. 

t Uismisbiou uf M. Chauvciin. — Edit. 

VOX. IT. 31 



^T • -«J^ fu*^: 



-^^K*«<'f»i?t" ■ ^*»'««T-»i«B 



- lJ^.'' 



482 



ON THE POLICY OP THE ALLIES. 



where ministers continually resident is now so strong- 
ly estublisbed, that the refusal of a conformity to it 
would, without very good reasons, give offence. These 
reasons may arise from particular conjunctures ; but 
there are also common reasons always subsisting, and 
such as relate to the constitution of a government and 
the state of a nation. The republics have often very 
good reasons of the latter kind to excuse themselves 
from continually suffering foreign ministers who cor- 
rupt the citizens in order to gain them over to their mas- 
ters, to the great prejudice of the repvhlio and foment- 
ing of the parties, &c. And should they only diffuse 
among a nation, formerly plain, frugal, and virtuous, 
a taste for luxury, avidity for money, and the man- 
ners of courts, these would be more than sufficient for 
wise and provident rulers to dismiss them." — Book 
rV. ch. V. § 66. 



Si r4 I 




Eifu OF VOL. rv. 



«'2,6r 



-^^^^Z-^^. 



4^